NEWS RELEASE 2023-02: ATTORNEY GENERAL’S SPECIAL INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION DIVISION JOINS FIGHT AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKINGPosted on Jan 11, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom
HONOLULU, HI – On the first National Human Trafficking Awareness Day since its creation, the Department of the Attorney General’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Division (“SIPD”) recognizes the necessity of stamping out human trafficking in Hawaiʻi, and the challenges that lay ahead.
Human trafficking is generally defined as the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or sex act or causing someone under the age of 18 to engage in a commercial sex act, regardless of the use of force, fraud, or coercion. Under Hawaiʻi law, Sex Trafficking and Labor Trafficking in the First Degree are both Class A felonies, which are punishable by up to twenty years in prison.
In 2022, the Hawaiʻi Legislature appropriated substantial funds for the creation of SIPD, which has a mission of combatting human trafficking in the State of Hawaiʻi. SIPD’s Supervising Deputy Attorney General David Van Acker states:
“SIPD was created to help fight human trafficking through aggressive criminal prosecution to hold offenders accountable. Our division also aims to raise public awareness about the threats that human trafficking presents to the state by providing training opportunities and partnering with community stakeholders. We are eager to collaborate with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to achieve these goals.”
Members of the public who suspect human trafficking can report what they see in various ways:
- In cases of emergency, call 911
- For child trafficking reports on Oʻahu: (808) 832-1999
- For child trafficking reports on neighbor islands: 1-888-398-1188
- For human trafficking reports to federal law enforcement: 1-866-347-2423
- To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
Email: [email protected]