18 Mar 2009

FBI says human trafficking victims need to know they have rights

12:17 pm on 18 March 2009

The Federal Bureau of Investigation says more effort is needed to communicate to victims of human trafficking their right to speak up.

The FBI says human trafficking is a big problem in Hawaii and territories including American Samoa, Guam and Saipan.

Recently a Samoan man was arrested in Honolulu as a part of a police investigation into human trafficking at massage parlours.

The FBI's Special Agent Brandon Simpson says often victims are enticed by promises of good jobs and high pay but are tricked into the sex industry or poor paying labour.

"Often times these people, the victims of the human trafficking are being held against their will because of this coercion. They actually physically could walk out of the place they're in and run down to local law enforcement. Because of their fear of law enforcement and their difficulty with dealing with the language barrier, they often end up not coming forward until they've been a victim for too long."

Brandon Simpson from the FBI in Hawaii.