Governor signs four bills to tackle human traffickingUPDATED 7:21 PM HST Jul 01, 2013Video Transcript
was indicted- Four more bills were signed into law to tackle the growing issue of human trafficking. Experts say it's the second most lucrative offense - next to drug trafficking. KITV4's Lara Yamada joins us with more... on why lawmakers still have a long way to go. Lara. It wasn't until 2011, that Hawaii saw its FIRST human trafficking law. And to this day, Hawaii has consistently ranked as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to Human and Sex Trafficking. But today, lawmakers proved, they're trying to change that. VICTIM Out on the streets it's very hard. It felt like forever. A family member recruited DeeDee at 16-years-old. Then, an abusive pimp made her work the streets of Waikiki. GOV 2655-59 What's involved here are a lot of underdogs. New laws enacted today are a crackdown on criminals who pursue girls like Deedee. Senate Bill 192 makes solicitation of a minor for prostitution a crime -- up until now -- only resulting in a fine equivalent to a parking ticket. Bill 194 means so-called "johns" can no longer have their records cleared after six months of good behavior. Many businesses are now required to post a human trafficking hotline. And, child trafficking becomes a form of abuse -- opening up state services for victims. There's also more support for the children who have been violated. COFFIELD 2820-28 There will be an increase in the reporting of these victims, and subsequently, we will see an increase in the services provided to these children. In December, Shared Hope International released its national report on child sex trafficking laws: Hawaii got a big F. KALEI Every time I ran away, my pimp at the time would find me and abuse me worse than the times before. For Kalei, a encounter at a bar entangled her in an underground world. She and Deedee are just two of many examples fueling avocates to push harder. OAKLAND 3429-38 Human trafficking is not spoken of very often. I think it took things happening on the national level for this to come about. Advocates say Hawaii's high rates of homeless children, missing kids, incarcerated girls, teen suicide, and incest all ripen our environment for sex traffickers. XIAN 3754 We need to take a look at how we deal with the issues surrounding poverty, race, and class, and really take proactive steps to heal our community. This session, Senator Chun- Oakland cemented This session, Senator Chun- Oakland cemented 400- grand for the beginnings of an assessment center - where victims can get quality help. And: advocates are already working on the next legislative session: focusing on a "Save Harbor Bill" to protect child sex trafficking victims from prosecution. Also: prosecuting police -- if in prostitution cases -- they overstep the law. Back to you.