Advocates push sex trafficking bill, some sex workers oppose

Published: Mar. 23, 2016 at 9:29 AM HST
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Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Advocates for sex trafficking victims are saying Hawaii is long overdue to pass a bill banning sex trafficking. But some sex workers oppose the measure.

Hawaii is the only state in the nation without a law that specifically bans sex trafficking.

A bill heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday would classify sex trafficking as a violent crime. It says a person commits sex trafficking if they promote or profit from sex work performed by anyone under 18.

Jeanne (juh-NAE) Kapela says her cousin was 14 when she ran away from an abusive home and ended up forced into sex work in Waikiki. A male sex worker told lawmakers he's against the bill, saying not everyone who gets paid for sex should be treated as a victim.

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