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Legislative Briefing on Human Trafficking in Hawaii

University of Hawaiʻi
Dr. Nancie Caraway, (808) 375-3947
UH Manoa Globalization Research Center
Kate Wester, (808) 956-9095
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Nov 17, 2003

WHO: UH Manoa‘s Globalization Research Center (GRC), Hawai'i‘s leading humanitarian thinkers and activists, and experts from the National Freedom Network Coalition and the Hawai'i Anti-Trafficking Task force.

WHAT: Presentation and informational session on human trafficking, also known as modern day slavery, and the local and Federal response to the problem. This session will raise awareness as well as establish a protocol in Hawai'i for recognizing this new category of human rights violations. Similar protocols were successfully established over a decade ago in response to domestic abuse and violence against women.

WHEN: Tuesday Nov. 18, 2003
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: State Capital Room 423

COST: Free and open to the public, continental breakfast will be served.

Human trafficking is a violation of U.S. and international law as well as a human rights violation. It involves the recruitment, transport, harboring and often sale of persons exploited for their labor. This may include domestic service, agricultural work, sweatshops, factories or prostitution.

Every 10 minutes someone is trafficked into slavery in the United States. Currently there is no data on the criminal practice in the state of Hawai'i. Trafficked individuals have been discovered by the general public, law enforcement officers, and human rights activists in local restaurants, farms, garment factories, and within in the justice system.

This informational session is a follow up to the November 2002 international conference sponsored by UH Mānoa‘s GRC and the East West Center entitled The Human Rights Challenge of Globalization in U.S.-Asia-Pacific: Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women & Children.

GRC researcher Dr. Nancie Caraway directed the 2002 international conference and coordinates the Hawai'i Anti-Trafficking Task Force.

With funding from the U.S. Department of State, the GRC is continuing its anti-trafficking initiatives and has recently organized The Hawai'i Anti-Trafficking Task Force. The goal of the task force is to identify the extent and dynamics of human trafficking in our state through the help of local law enforcement officials, service providers, researchers, judiciary, government officials, and human rights activists.

The informational session will be conducted by an expert from The National Freedom Network Coalition, a national coalition against human trafficking.

In addition to this public legislative briefing, the expert trainer will train Hawai'i‘s law enforcement and service provider professionals with a comprehensive curriculum that provides a solid foundation for participants to address issues of human trafficking in various contexts in Hawai'i. The training helps answer questions such as, how do I know if someone is trafficked or enslaved? What should I do? How should I provide services? What is the role of the law enforcement and what protections and benefits are available to victims under the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act passed by the US Congress in 2000?

The goals of the Freedom Network Anti-Trafficking Training are:

· To ensure that trafficked and enslaved persons are treated as victims, are able to have full access to justice, including compensation from traffickers and employers.

· To increase public awareness of the crimes of trafficking and slavery through education, research, training, community outreach and organizing for the purpose of prevention and to support the human rights of trafficked and enslaved persons.

· To engage in advocacy at the local, national and international levels and to seek full prosecution of traffickers and employers — including corporations and their sub-contractors.

· To develop local and national networks in the US and to link with international human rights and worker rights networks.