Maui News

Hawaiʻi Attorney General’s new division joins fight against human trafficking

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On the first National Human Trafficking Awareness Day since its creation, the Hawaiʻi Attorney General’s new Special Investigation and Prosecution Division wants the public to be on the lookout for human trafficking in the state.

Human trafficking is generally defined as the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or sex act or causing someone under the age of 18 to engage in a commercial sex act, regardless of the use of force, fraud or coercion.

Under Hawaiʻi law, sex trafficking and labor trafficking in the first degree are both Class A felonies, which are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

In 2022, the Hawaiʻi State Legislature appropriated substantial funds for the creation of the Special Investigation and Prosecution Division, which has a mission of combatting human trafficking in the State of Hawaiʻi. 


SIPD’s Supervising Deputy Attorney General David Van Acker said: “SIPD was created to help fight human trafficking through aggressive criminal prosecution to hold offenders accountable. Our division also aims to raise public awareness about the threats that human trafficking presents to the state by providing training opportunities and partnering with community stakeholders.”

Members of the public who suspect human trafficking can report what they see in various ways:

  • In cases of emergency, call 911
  • For child trafficking reports on Oʻahu: 808-832-1999
  • For child trafficking reports on neighbor islands: 1-888-398-1188
  • For human trafficking reports to federal law enforcement: 1-866-347-2423
  • To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888


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