Help Pass Hawaii’s 1st Anti Human Trafficking State Law!

Got this message from Kathyrn Xian and promised I’d pass this along:

We urgently need your help. Please take a few minutes to make these calls/faxes/emails to one or all of the people listed below. With your help, we can PASS Hawaii’s first Human Trafficking state law and keep Hawaii safe.

BILL #: HB1940 http://capitol.hawaii.gov/session2010/lists/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=1940
and its senate companion SB2045

Templates will soon be available on our website to submit testimony at legislative hearings BUT people can make calls, emails and faxes at any time, like NOW. You don’t have to wait for a legislative hearing to have their voices heard. This year is an election year so your option as a registered voter (always good to remind them) is extra important!

FOR LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS: If you sign our mailing list or petition, we will alert you to when these hearings are held and how to submit testimony. We will only be give 48 hours notice, so please consider calling one or all of the key players below to urge them to support this bill NOW.

FOR CALLS AND FAXES TO URGE SUPPORT (YOU MAY DO THIS AT ANY TIME): Please be prepared to get the “runaround” from some of those listed below but if you do, do not give up. Remember, they work to serve the people of this state. And, your support can make a great difference in the lives of Human Trafficking Victims. Make sure your voice is heard! ACCEPT NO EXCUSE FOR STALLING ON THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAW. THEY HAVE NO GOOD EXCUSES. (Some may give you many without being specific. Be wary.)

SAMPLE SCRIPT:

“Aloha, may I speak to (Person Listed Below)? Hello, my name is (Your Name) and I am a registered voter (optional). The Women’s Legislative Caucus has submitted a bill making Human Trafficking a felony offense. I am urging you to support the Anti Human Trafficking Bill HB1940 and its Senate Companion SB2045. There is no excuse to wait on passing this legislation. Hawaii is now one of seven states without a state Human Trafficking Law. This is unacceptable. I support anyone in office who supports this bill. Thank you for your time.”

Below is a list of people to call. ALL ARE IMPORTANT!

1. City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle
808-768-7400

Currently does not think that Human Trafficking laws are needed. Has testified against all past Human Trafficking Bills. Has also had 6 months to comment and improve the current bill, which he has not.

2. Governor Linda Lingle
Phone: 808-586-0034
Fax: 808-586-0006

Attorney General Mark Bennett
Phone: 808 586-1282
Fax: 808-586-1239
Currently does not think that Human Trafficking laws are needed. Has testified against all past Human Trafficking Bills. Has also had 6 months to comment and improve the current bill, which he has not.

3. Chief Louis Kealoha, HPD
808-529-3386
lkealoha@honolulu.gov
HPD will not advocate for anything that the Prosecutor is against. Hence, they will not support the Human Trafficking Bill.

4. Sen. Brian Taniguchi, Chair of Senate Judiciary Committee
phone 808-586-6460; fax 808-586-6461
e-mail: sentaniguchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
The Human Trafficking Bill will be heard by his committee. He has not given his position on this subject.

5. Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, President of the Senate
Phone 808-586-7793; Fax 808-586-7797
Email: senhanabusa@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Currently is unsure about the need for a state Human Trafficking law.

6. Rep. Calvin Say, Speaker of the House
phone 808-586-6100; fax 808-586-6101
e-mail: repsay@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Currently is unsure about the need for a state Human Trafficking law.

7. Rep. Jon Riki Karamatsu, Chair of the House Judiciary Committee
phone 808-586-8490; fax 808-586-8494
E-mail: repkaramatsu@Capitol.hawaii.gov
The Human Trafficking Bill will be heard by his committee. He has voiced his support. It would be good to thank him.

Summary of This Year’s Human Trafficking Bill:

1. Creates the crime of Human Trafficking in the 1st Degree as a Class A offense, the highest penalty available in Hawaii, and sets varying degrees of offenses for trafficking related crimes. Human Trafficking for sexual exploitation in the 1st degree is based upon transportation (into, through within, or across state lines) plus intent to advance prostitution by any ONE of the NINE stated means in the definition of the offense (e.g. force, enticement, fraud, extortion, debt bondage, use of illicit substances, etc..). (Easy to prove transportation as we are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean surrounded by 2000 miles of seawater on every side. The “intent to advance” language would exempt non-criminal forms of transportation from prosecution and would focus prosecution only on Human Traffickers and those that abet Human Traffickers).

2. Establishes a mandatory minimum sentence for the traffickers and patrons of trafficked children.

3. Focuses the criminalization on the traffickers and the patrons of Human Trafficking NOT on the victims. (Current prostitution statutes criminalize the victims by placing them in the same criminal category as patrons and advancers of prostitution).

4. Would allow victims to be legally recognized as victims of human trafficking and not as “prostitutes” or other criminals

5. Excuses the crime of Human Trafficking from Hawaii’s “Deferred Acceptance” law which allows defendants, if pleading guilty, to receive a lighter sentence and to be able to legally say after the fact that they have not been convicted of any crime. Current prostitution statutes are not exempt from Deferred Acceptance. E.g. Rodney D. King was pled guilty to sex-trafficking minors in 1999 and received only 30 months in prison only to repeat his crime again in 2007 with another set of children and women.

6. Establishes the offense of Human Trafficking for the purposes of labor exploitation and set varying degrees of labor trafficking related offenses

7. Includes Human Trafficking in the state’s Restitution and Forfeiture regulations as well as the Violent Crimes definitions.