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tv   National Governors Association Summer Meeting Day 1 - PART 2  CSPAN  August 2, 2019 9:29am-10:01am EDT

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capable of driving our own live and being in the driver life of our own destiny. >> watch sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q & a. in 1979, a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. c-span opened the doors for all to see. bringing you unfilt erd cered c. today that big idea is morree relevant than ever. c-span is your unfilleunfiltere of government. the national governors association recently held its annual summer meeting in salt lake city. during this portion, arizona's governor and cindy mccain and
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the widow of john mccain sat down to discuss human trafficking and how to combat it. this is half an hour. >> good morning, everyone. this morning's session is on human trafficking. i think we are all aware what pervasive evil human trafficking is. it affects every state in our nation and millions of people around the world. we know that it takes everyone working together. we have seen this in arizona to make a difference. both local, state and federal governments, law enforcement, non-profits and others. earlier, nga had adopted a new policy to advocate for partnership across all sectors to fight this evil. my name is doug ducey. i'm the governor of arizona.
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it's my pleasure today to introduce someone who has led the fight on human trafficking for many years. it's someone i'm proud to be able to call a dear friend, someone who through her work at the mccain institute and co-chair of the arizona human trafficking council, has proven to be indispensable in the fight to end human trafficking. we're so glad that she could be here today to share her wisdom with us. will you please join me in giving a very warm nga welcome to mrs. cindy mccain? >> thank you. [ applause ] >> cindy, would you take the floor for a few moments? i think i have learned so much about this issue -- i still remember in 2009 when you
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personally called and said that we were going to do something about this in the state of arizona. i have been able to see what has happened to the state. but it was an issue that was so new to me at the time and the reason that i have knowledge of it is because of you. part of the reason we wanted to have this setting today was so that we could share this knowledge and best practices with other governors across the country. >> first of all, thank you, governor. it's my honor to be here. and it is my honor to be sitting on the same stage with you. if it had not been for then treasurer doug ducey at the time, i don't think we would be sitting here talking about this. i basically pulled a bunch of people together, friends that i knew, in my living room and said, we absolutely have to do something. the catalyst to this was the super bowl. it was coming. this is such a scourge. it's an epidemic. it's an issue that goes
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underreported and underappreciated to affect it has on a community. i just didn't want to see arizona embarrassed in any way. not only that, but i wanted arizona to have a healthy, happy, safe super bowl. that was really the catalyst in all of this. thanks to your work on -- the governor was on our original task force with this. we have been able to not only expand on what we are doing, as you know, but with your help, we have been able to really, really make a difference in this issue. not just in arizona but in some other states around the country. because they are following our best practices and we're sharing our information. it is, in my opinion, it is a scourge. for those of you who have read about epstein, the gentlemen who is in jail, couldn't be a nicer guy to be in jail. i hope he stays there. he has heightened this.
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now we have to talk about this. because it's mainstream. >> thank you, cindy. it really was the genesis in arizona was on the super bowl. whenever there are large international events, this human trafficking, these young women and young men are preyed upon by these predators. you touched on this story, jeffrey epstein, that is very topic al topical in the news right now. i remember when you called and we had that first meeting. it wasn't through staff. it wasn't delegated. it was a personal passion. i was somewhat embarrassed of the lack of knowledge i had around this issue. i thought it had more do with the border and immigration than with this really incredible evil industry and how systemtized it
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was in the united states and across the world, internationally. can you talk about what sparked your passion to get involved in this issue and really raise the profile of human trafficking? >> well, for me, like anything, i think most of you would agree in your own personal interest, something moved you. you had an experience, you had something around you caught your attention and moved you. it was no different for me. we have our youngest daughter who is from bangladesh. she, at this time was 4 years owed. i had gone back -- i was not in bangladesh. i went back to india to calcutta. i had been to mother teresa's orphanage. i was going shopping on the way out of india. i was in a shop. i was looking for material for my daughter. while they were ringing me up and we were chatting, very tiny
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space, calcutta is a noisy -- everything -- it's a chaotic town. i noticed that there was this rumbling coming from beneath the floor of this kiosk. movement. i asked the owner what is going on down there? just my family. they live down there. it was a very plausible thing in independent india. as i was taking my things and leaving, i looked down again. there were slats in the floorboards. you could see all these little eyes looking up. it was not a family. there were too many people down there to be a family. they were all young kids. clearly, these kids were being held against their will. clearly, all the things that you can imagine. i'm embarrassed. i got on an airplane and went home. i didn't do anything. i didn't know what to do. i didn't know what it was. it became kind of a life long
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quest to really understand what happened and what i saw. and what to do. therein lies the whole solution. what do we do? >> doing and action is what you have done. to think of had someone in your position not seen something like that and come back and gathered people together and begun something now that can be exported to other states, to raise this profile and to take law enforcement action -- it's not just law enforce money. part is therapy. let's talk a little bit about the misconceptions around human trafficking, around arrests of prostitution, around teenagers in need. some of the things that i have learned -- i'm even amazed, when you saw that in india, i imagine none of us were familiar with the term human trafficking. yet today, we hear even on the mainstream media these misconceptions around human
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trafficking. >> well, like anything, words have consequences. when you describe a child who has been trafficked as a prostitutiopros t prostitu prostitute. that implies an understanding of what's going on. that simply isn't the case. i am so proud of arizona, because we removed the word prostitution within our statutes as it applies to a child. you can to longer describe a child as a prostitute when they are picked up and saved from these circumstances. the misunderstanding is that these kids and women and men want to be there and want to do this. like this was a choice. it simply isn't a choice. the other -- another major misconception is somehow this is an immigration issue. this is not an immigration issue. these are kids that are being trafficked locally, within your own neighborhoods, on a
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reservation, on our -- within our backyards, our malls, everything. it is everywhere. these kids are domestic kids. the belief in some circumstances that this only happens overseas is not the case. it happens right here, right under our noses. in salt lake city, it's happening right outside the front door of this hotel. it's everywhere. it's an epidemic. >> to see the testimony of individuals who had been arrested as child prostitutes, how it affected their life, how they were trapped in the system. not only the power of government to change statute and the law but to change the culture from a legislative perspective and then the people from the private sector, the faith-based community, the charitable organizations and the philanthropic organizations, what would you say are the opportunities that are out there
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to involve those types of individuals and influencers? what are the biggest obstacles in terms of getting this type of movement or change in culture done at the state level? >> i think to begin with, with the latter part of that question, a large part i think has to do with changing or shaping legislation and the actual laws around this to fit what this really is. first of all, hanging -- not literally. but hanging these guys that traffic these kids is one way. in arizona, we increased the penalties to 100 years if they get caught trafficking people. that's a big deal. that deters some of this stuff. but also, making sure that these kids and these men and women that are picked up, particularly kids, they are victims. they are not criminals. how we treat them once they are picked up, usa mentias you ment
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long-term trauma based care they need, health needs, the educational needs, all those things. it's a collaborative. we need to work together. as we do in arizona, all of our agencies work together. our law enforcement work together. we're a team now in arizona. on this issue. that's extremely important in how we deal with this. we're finding the other portion of this is education. educating our first responders to making sure that our nurses, our first responders know what they are seeing, understand what they are seeing. indeed, this is a trafficked child or trafficked woman or man. it's all a collaborative effort. i'm so proud of arizona for what we have done. >> thank you, sippedcindy. cindy has been a force of nature on this issue. i think it runs in the family. >> i'm like a mad chihuahua. >> in terms of bringing people to the on the educational part, the awareness, the legislative
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part, i was fortunate enough to have you inside our state. we're coming up on the year anniversary from when we lost the senator and he has passed. i know the legacy lives on in the work you are doing, the legacy lives on in the mccain institute. for other governors -- i will tell you this is not a partisan issue. this is a what is the right thing to do issue. how do we protect our children, our citizens? how do we make our state a better place to live? i know you have worked with certain influencers in our state to help bring this to life and change the law. if a governor were to go back to their state and say, this is something we are going to tackle, we are going to be as innovative or more than arizona, what advice or counsel would you give them? >> hurry. jump in your car right now. hurry. start it now. i know most states within the
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united states do have a human trafficking effort happening. what i suggest, and what i tell people is, let's share information. let's share our best practices. let's share what we have learned. let's share the mistakes we have made, which is very important in all of this. unless we talk as individuals and as states and work together on this issue -- because to simplify it and take it down a bit, these kids aren't always just in one state. as you know, they are transported all over the country. it's systematic. it's dangerous. we have been able to, through the efforts of the mccain institute and others, been able to learn how now how to track these kids. not only by the languages that appear on some social media things, but their phone records. this is turning into something that is saving lives. but i truly believe with every governor here would do the same kind of thing, not just what we do, but what every state is
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doing, we can stop this in the united states. we can stop this cruelty that's happening to children right now. >> some of the stories of the lives that have been turned around and how they serve in these shelters right now are miracles. nothing less than miracles. >> they are. it always amazes me, because every time i think my life is crap p crappy on certain days and i look at the kids. it's not just inspiring. it's life changing for me. >> i know you are the one to break the ice in arizona and say this is something we need to be aware of. i have been able to see -- there are certain assets that all of the governors here share. you have a director of homeland security. you all have a director of your state police or state troopers. in arizona, we have a governor's office of youth, faith and family. it's the people that engage with
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the youth. those are all people that directly or indirectly report to the governor's office. they are all people that spend really more time with cindy mccain on this issue than they are spending with me. because they have the purview to be more effective. you have a faith-based community. you have philanthropic and charitable organizations and ngos. often they want to come and lobby the legislature. we are able to give them something to do, some action to take. i imagine i'm missing some other human assets there that you have been able to convene together. are there any other best practices that you have seen in arizona that you could share with the governors that are here today? >> well, i think for most part, what i would like to remind everybody is that as you have mentioned, this is not a political issue. anyone who wants to bring politics into this is just damn wrong. more importantly in all this, is
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sharing of information. a lot of times we run into our -- they're all great organizations. but they're not willing to share their data or share their information or share what they have learned. i think encouraging your ngos and your faith-based community in your own states to work together on this, that's been a big hurdle for us. i think we have done a good job at jumping that hurdle. it's been a challenge. people are protective of their lists and protective of their data and they're protective -- we're not going to help anybody unless we start sharing our data. >> that's an important part of it. the other thing is this did begin in 2009, 2010. this has been persistent and consistent. this has not been convening of a meeting for a photo op. this is happening on a daily basis and with the organizations coming together on monthly and quarterly basis. i want to open it up to the
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governors. if they have any comments or best practices in their state or, of course, questions for the subject matter expert. governor. >> cindy, thank you for being here. i appreciate your leadership on this issue. i'm curious, we have done quite a bit of work at the federal level to open up transparency and go after websites that knowingly sell our children for sex. but i have been told that because of that legislation, that their method of trafficking our children has changed. that there's new ways that they are still exposing our children to these dangers. i would like you to maybe give us some information, if you have it, on what those new ways of marketing children are that we need to be aware of in our states. then the second part of my question is about missing, murdered and indigenous women. have i have nine native american tribes. they have a higher percentage of going missing. we pass aed a bill to start
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collecting data. if there's tips in that specific area that you have as well, that would be lhelpful. >> if i can start with the indigenous women. that's a very tough issue in arizona as well. we have had occasion to locate indigenous women that had been trafficked off the reservation and wound up in new guinea. that's how deep this goes. training tribal police, training of tribal leaders especially is most important in this issue, to protect them. more importantly, we have included tribal leadership on our council. they have had a large part in how we have shaped the involvement of or two communities and how we can work together on this. we have had success with this in arizona. it's been very helpful. but we're still not there yet. with regard to the electronic portion of this, the websites,
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you alluded to backpage.com. the biggest perpetrator of any of them and why we, at least i know we were so anxious to take care of these guys is they were based in phoenix. it was disgusting. yes, we took down the biggest duck in the puddle. other things have sprung up. we knew that was going to happen. we knew it would move offshore. it comes down to the rest of us being more creative and figuring out how this is. we're never going to stop these guys from thinking ahead. but we can stop with our tech savvy folks, we can probably stop how it's related offshore. by that i mean, how and if and when and should and could it be actually read. anything that involves a child, i believe, should be heavily monitored and heavily cared for
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in terms of the website. i guess let me back up for a second. there's so many other websites that popped up, including just the fact that they are using so many websites popped up, including they're using facebook and instagram to do this. there has to be responsibility on the parts of social media platforms to help us as parents be able to deal with this. and to help our communities be able to deal with this. i truly believe we need to hold facebook, instagram, all the others, talking about the largest ones, accountable for a great deal of what we do. >> cindy single handedly called back page to task, to public testimony in front of the taskforce and that was addressed. but i think what back page was doing was focusing on things in the shadows, were not really in public view. the recent case, current case in
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the news is quite different and gives you an idea of the spectrum across the board here. while everyone is innocent until proven guilty, this individual we're talking about has already been proven guilty. this is just another case in another jurisdiction under the same umbrella. governor hutchinson. >> thank you, governor, for drawing attention to the serious issue and cindy. welcome and thank you as well. you mention that the super bowl in arizona is what drew attention to this from your standpoint. arkansas hasn't had a super bowl recently, we do hope we will have a super bowl soon. but so we don't identify the same issue, but it is important in a rural state like arkansas that we have truck stops. i want to applaud our general assembly that recognize the need
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to address this area, sexual trafficking, and that it can happen in rural states as well, and so we passed a law, act 922, that addressed training for trucking. and it requires any person applying or reapplying for commercial driver's license must complete a human trafficking prevention course. >> good. >> i think this is a good practice. we signed this into law. >> it is. >> but it is also now mandatory for all educators to have annual continuing education for 30 minutes to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to it. you don't want to put birurdensn educators and unnecessary mandates, but i think it is helpful to draw attention to the challenge of human trafficking, sex trafficking as well, in these areas that can be utilized for that evil purpose.
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so one challenge is just the public in general as to make them more aware, be able to identify that. i wanted to thank you, see if you had comments as to what more we can do to educate the public, make them aware of this. >> you make a good point about educating the public. that was how we began with the super bowl thing. billboards, all of the usual, tv, all the things that you would suggest on that. but we need to take it even further down. that's into our elementary schools. a lot of people think we've had to overcome in arizona the issue, no, this is sex ed. no, it is not sex ed, this is safety. this is keeping your children safe. each state is different but it is extremely important that we learn and work together in dealing with our elementary schools and our high schools of course too, but with that said,
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we also have to deal with the buyers. i mean, we have these great preventions we're working on and everything else, but the buyers really have to be held accountable too. we had a huge sting in arizona which was just yesterday, wasn't it? huge sting in arizona. but the buyers also have to be accountable in all this. your point about trucking, trucking against trafficking, those kinds of things, that's all great and it's all, we use the saying we stole it from homeland security, if you see something, say something, go ahead and do it, call somebody. congratulations on what you're doing, i think that's marvelous. >> asa, that's an excellent example. the super bowl is an unfortunate example because it happens once a year in one place and it is an incredible event, but this is happening everywhere. almost happening anywhere there's activity, and there's
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good people everywhere, but they may not be aware of what's happening. there's a lot of good guys behind the wheels of 18 wheelers. we have folks in arizona that are driving uber and taxicabs that are aware of this. if they see something, they say something. they report it. these people that were getting away with this were invisible, and young girls were invisible. that's just not the case. and the more there's a light that is placed on this, the more we'll be able to get rid of it and minimize it. any other governors? we're fortunate in arizona, cindy, because this has been one of the focuses of the mccain institute from the get go and it has been a resource and partner for us. are there other partners out there or who would a governor look to at the state level to have that kind of support and
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efficiency to move the message forward as they find a champion to carry the torch? >> well, what i would suggest to anybody, not just governors, anybody in this room that wants to become involved in this issue, and i hope some of you do, is first come to mccain institute website. we have a list of organizations that work just on these specific issues, and specific areas of the issue. i'll name one in particular. my friend ashton kutcher and his wife demi moore, ex-wife demi moore, founded thorn. it is digitally based. they're helping first responders within squad cars in rural parts of states be able to identify these kids and where they have been and kind of giving them tools to know what to do with them. each state is different so i would suggest that you research
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the organizations. there are some really good ones in your own home state, but use them. get everybody involved in this. it is extraordinarily important to be very diligent in keeping people involved in this because this is a national security problem. i speak at a lot of international defense conferences and security conferences around the world. it is not just a local issue with little kids, it is a huge issue around the world. >> that's been a real eye opener for me as someone that came from the private sector and entered public life is this is an issue that you can go into any room anywhere in the state, people are involved from the most conservative faith based leaders to royalty of hollywood that come together to say let's stop this. let's address this. let's shine a spotlight on these
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people and let's help these young people. one, the best is to prevent it. some of the incredible stories are people led out of this. they're some of the most persuasive spokespeople. are there any other parting words of wisdom you have for the nation's governors around this issue? >> oh, i mean, as i said earlier i hope that every state is diligent on this and is part of the solution in whatever way works for your own state and more importantly, i hope that the spouses, partners, significant others in the room will join us in this. your voice with your partner, spouse, whomever is being governor of your own home state, you have a big voice, a large voice in this as well. i would encourage our spouses again, partners, et cetera, to become part of the issue as
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well. it just takes a couple of voices i think that are recognized within your own home state to really make a difference in this. parting words would be hopefully you will take from this if nothing more there's a sense of urgency. we really have to get together as a nation and work on this issue very strongly. and i hope that i can encourage all of you to do just that. >> i would echo that. of course, our office is happy to help. this is a local law enforcement issue, they love to share these practices across state lines. i think the most innovative policy is located at the mccain institute, available to everyone. on behalf of the nation's governors, both democrat, republican, and independent, thank you, cindy mccain. >> thank you.
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thank you. [ applause ] tonight on cspan3, american history tv looks at post cold war u.s. foreign policy. hear about u.s., japanese relations after world war ii, the containment theory and vietnam war. later, a look at the cuban revolution. american history tv tonight on cspan3, starting at 8:00 eastern. this weekend on american history tv, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on lectures in history, comparisons between abraham lincoln and andrew johnson on the cotu

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