Updated: September 30, 2022
US Senator Maizie Hirono has asked FBI director Christopher Wray to pay special attention to the safety of Native Hawaiian women and girls, in view of recent statistics showing they represent more than two-thirds of sex trafficking victims in Hawaiʻi.
“According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Hawaiian women and girls represent 67% to 77% of sex trafficking victims identified in recent studies,” Sen. Hirono said. “Native Hawaiians also represent 37% of reported child sex trafficking cases.”
Sen. Hirono made the statement during a US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, noting that the federal government owes the same trust responsibility to Native Hawaiians as it does to American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Wray acknowledged that marginalized Native Hawaiians were victims of the lion’s share of human trafficking victims in Hawaiʻi and that just this past week, the FBI office in Honolulu recovered three minor females who were missing and at risk on the Big Island.
The FBI has been “very aggressively working that issue,” Wray told Sen. Hirono.
Hirono has been a strong advocate for ensuring the federal government meets its trust responsibility to American Indians Alaska natives, and Native Hawaiians.
She introduced a resolution designating May 5 as “National Day of Awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
She joined Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Steve Daines (R-MT) in introducing the resolution which aims to raise awareness, honor Indigenous people who are missing or murdered, and identify solutions to end this violent epidemic.