Local groups launch hotline to help human trafficking victims

Local groups work to help Hawaii's human trafficking victims
Updated: Jan. 11, 2017 at 10:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new Hawaii hotline is aimed at helping link human trafficking victims to services.

The "Stop the Sale" hotline is unique in the state, organizers say, is aimed at getting aid to a victim's side in less than an hour.

IMUA Alliance and UNITE Hawaii say they will work with city, state, and federal law enforcement to respond to tips and reports of exploitation.

The hotline was announced Wednesday to mark National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Also Wednesday, nonprofits in Downtown Honolulu, the state Attorney General's office, and law enforcement took to the streets to educate people about the dangers of human trafficking and the services available for victims.

"Within 48 hours of a juvenile being on the run, about 30 percent of them will be approached for sex services," Jessica Munoz, Hoola Na Pua president and founder. "Within 48 hours. I mean, that is a short amount of time and we have a large number of runaways in this state."

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, joined other members of Congress on Wednesday in reintroducing the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act, which helps human trafficking survivors get non-violent federal crimes they committed as a victims taken off their record.

The "Stop The Sale" hotline can be reached at (808) 800-7659.

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