FBI director questioned on effort to protect Native Hawaiians from sex trafficking
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono questioned the head of the FBI on the agency’s effort to protect Native Hawaiians from sex trafficking.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday.
Hirono questioned him on the Violence Against Women Act, which provides protections for Native American and Alaska Natives. However, the act does not include Native Hawaiians, who are disproportionately victimized in the state.
“Native Hawaiian women and girls represent 67% of sex trafficking victims identified in recent studies. Native Hawaiians also represent 37% of child sex trafficking cases. Can you begin to talk about it, to include them in your programmatic efforts?,” Hirono asked.
“I will say that you put your finger on an important issue, and our Honolulu office has been working very hard to target and aggressively pursue federal charges on known and repeat human trafficking offenders,” Wray said.
Wray testified that gangs and traffickers typically target marginalized groups, which include native communities.
He said just this week, the FBI recovered three girls who had been missing on Hawaii Island.
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