THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
HONOLULU — Dozens of activists have joined with state lawmakers to combat human trafficking in Hawaii.
Representatives Karen Awana and John Mizuno expressed support for efforts organized by the Polaris Project, the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery and the International Justice Mission.
Awana said bills introduced this session take an aggressive approach toward addressing slavery.
James Dodd, Polaris Project's policy counsel, says if the bills pass, Hawaii will have one of the strongest anti-human trafficking frameworks in the nation — and will help exploited women and children.
Last year, Polaris Project rated the state at four stars out of 10 for existing laws critical to fighting human trafficking.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center hot line has taken 164 calls related to human trafficking since December 2007, Dodd said in a press release.