On January 22nd, Governor David Ige presented a proclamation highlighting Human Trafficking Month in the month of January in Hawaiʻi.
Delivered to to a group of legislators, service providers, and Sex Trafficking Task Force members in his office at the Capitol, the proclamation (pictured below) reads:
WHEREAS, Human Trafficking Awareness Month shines the light on injustice and the horrors of human trafficking that exists in the world, our nation, and even in our Aloha State; and
WHEREAS, in Hawaii and elsewhere, both children and adults must endure unrelenting violence from being coerced into prostitution or suffer the persistent psychological trauma of bonded labor as a modern-day slave; and
WHEREAS, human trafficking in Hawaii knows no boundaries, claiming victims, particularly young girls, of all ethnicities and geographic neighborhoods across the socioeconomic spectrum; and
WHEREAS, human trafficking is a flagrant violation of human rights that indiscriminately robs victims of their confidence and human dignity, and inflicts pain, fear and shame; and
WHEREAS, government and community-based organizations are joining forces to end the devastating effects of human trafficking through prevention and treatment, and pushing back the forces that seek to destroy the lives of innocent victims; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative to give our support to organizations and associations that are sentinel, tackling the issue of human trafficking by extending healing to those who have been wounded physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually; and
WHEREAS, human trafficking ultimately takes a toll on everyone, wreaking havoc in families, communities and our local economy, and assaults our island cultural values that place a strong emphasis on family.
NOW, THEREFORE I, DAVID IGE, Governor, and I, SHAN S. TSUTSUI, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, do hereby proclaim the month of January 2016 HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS MONTH IN HAWAII to urge the people of the Aloha State to knit their hearts together, resolve to end human trafficking of all forms in our state, and boldly proclaim, “Not in Our Islands.”
This was an important step for the fight against human trafficking and CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) in Hawaiʻi. Many of our volunteers were in attendance to witness this action of education. Standing strong with the governor as well were representatives from other organizations advocating for the victims of human and sex trafficking, including Mr. Kevin Takata, Director of the Hawaiʻi Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
After the event, Hoʻōla Nā Pua President Jessica Munoz posted on social media: “We are thankful for our Governor’s stance and for allowing us to receive this proclamation along with one of our collaborative partners the Director of the Hawaii Coalition Against Human Trafficking- Mr. Kevin Takata.”
We truly are thankful for the governor’s stance, and hope this becomes an encouring first step for some to take action again trafficking in Hawaiʻi and let it be known: “Not in our islands!”