The Kaua‘i Committee on the Status of Women invites the public to a forum on Human Trafficking from 5 to 7 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Līhu‘e Civic Center’s Mo‘ikeha Building in Meeting Room 2A/2B, according to a county press release.

“Sex trafficking and your children is a combination no parent wants to imagine on Kaua‘i, but it is a real threat on our island,” said Edith Ignacio-Neumiller, secretary for the Kaua‘i Committee on the Status of Women. “Recent news have cited about 160 child sex trafficking cases were reported to the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Human Services over the last two years.”

The forum will feature State Commission on the Status of Women Executive Director Khara Jabola-Carolus, and a presentation by Dominique Roe-Sepowitz on Sex Trafficking in Hawai‘i Part II – “Stories of Survivors.” Roe-Sepowitz is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University School of Social Work and the founder and director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research.

The forum will also include the following panelists:

  • Stefani Iwami, Clinical Director Sexual Assault Services, YWCA Kaua‘i;
  • Justin Kollar, Prosecuting Attorney, County of Kaua‘i;
  • Jessica Munoz, Founder and President of Hoʻōla Nā Pua; and
  • Chief Todd Raybuck, Kaua‘i Police Department, County of Kaua‘i.

Human trafficking is the business of stealing freedom for profit. Traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. Victims are lied to, assaulted, branded, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or unacceptable conditions. It is a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 25 million people around the world.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service or other accommodation due to a disability, contact Anela Segreti at 241-4917 or as soon as possible. Requests made as early as possible will allow adequate time to fulfill your request. Upon request, this notice is available in alternate formats such as large print, Braille, or electronic copy.

For more information on the Human Trafficking Forum, call 241-4919.