Maui News

Sex Trafficking Awareness Symposium on Maui Today

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Sex trafficking is a dark side of tourism that people don’t often talk about, but a symposium being held today on Maui, brings hospitality industry professionals together to combat the problem and discuss solutions.

The nonprofit Hoʻōla Nā Pua held a similar symposium on Oahu over the weekend and will be hosting additional events on Hawaiʻi Island and Kauaʻi later this week.

Topics include “Defining Trafficking and Exploitation,” “Tourism Industry as Key Partners in Protecting Our Community,” and “Responding, Reporting and Action Steps.”

The events are free to attend thanks to tourism dollars and are presented by Hawai‘i Tourism, and in partnership with the Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association.

Industry executives and partners say they hope to empower Hawaiʻi’s visitor industry management, and encourage them to raise awareness and take a stand against trafficking.

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According to Hoʻōla Nā Pua, sex traffickers often take advantage of the privacy and anonymity accessible through the hospitality industry. Many of the victims are young Hawaiʻi residents.

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Today’s symposium was held at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Kāʻanapali.

Additional events include:
· Nov. 6, 2019: Hawaiʻi Island (Natural Energy Lab of Hawaiʻi – Hale Iako, Kailua-Kona)
· Nov. 7, 2019: Kauaʻi (Sheraton Kauaʻi Resort, Poʻipū)

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