How could you Tell if a Massage Company is a Front for Human Trafficking?
According to a 2018 report by the anti-human trafficking corporation Polaris, in the States, human trafficking is a huge booming business, working in plain sight.
There are more than 9, 000 illegally-operating massage parlors in America, according to Polaris’ research. The report, “Human Trafficking in Illicit Massage Businesses, ” claims there is substantial proof of workers being victimized, which includes being held against their particular will and forced to perform commercial sex trafficking within businesses masquerading as being legitimate massage therapy establishments.
Study finds 9, 1000 massage businesses in the U. S. are actually brothels
“This is the initial comprehensive analysis of these specific businesses, ” Polaris TOP DOG Bradley Myles told HuffPost. “I don’t think anyone had an idea there is that many of them. The sheer volume of these businesses is astounding. ”
Check out this particular hotspot map from the Polaris report that shows the areas with the highest concentration of these shady businesses, though you can see that they can be found in every single state in the U. S i9000.:
Pretty shocking, correct?
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Also astounding are the profits. As reported by HuffPost, Polaris’ research estimates that these businesses, which more often than not are part of an organized criminal network, generate revenue of about $2. 5 billion a year.
The report details just how trafficking related to illicit massage parlors accounted for 2, 949 cases out of the 32, 1000 that Polaris analyzed within 2017— second in prevalence only to trafficking in companion services.
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From Polaris: “ It is not known just how many women working in massage parlors today are trafficked. The information from the National Human Trafficking Hotline almost certainly does not represent anything close to the scope of the problem. By its extremely nature, human trafficking is a difficult, if not impossible, criminal offense to quantify with accuracy. Traffickers operate in the shadows, and the tools they use to use victims are such that the particular victims themselves often have no idea that what is happening to them is definitely against the law. ”
The women trafficked within massage parlors are mostly:
- Recently arrived from China and taiwan or South Korea
- Are under extreme financial stress
- Speak little or no English
- Have no more than a high school education
- Are usually mothers in their mid-30s in order to late 50s
They are often hired through fraudulent ads that will misrepresent pay and conceal the sexual nature from the job. Once there, they work excessive hours and are compensated less than minimum wage (or nothing) and told this is normal. They are threatened with arrest, deportation, or shame to their families if they quit.
Concealing in plain sight
Polaris reports that California, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Texas have the maximum number of trafficking businesses using the facade of being legit massage businesses (see the killer spot map above). But instead of offering the normal therapeutic massage providers, the illegitimate parlors provide a variety of sexual favors, for any price—everything from “hand relief” genital stimulation to full-on intercourse.
Related : From the Numbers: How Porn Plus Sex Trafficking Are Carefully Connected
Take a look at Polaris’ guide to recognizing an illegitimate, and potentially trafficking-ridden, businesses. (Note that this image does not appear in a good updated version of the document linked here. ) You may also read this Polaris post for more information on how to spot trafficking businesses in plain sight.
“There is a very happy, strong, legitimate massage occupation, and people across the country love to obtain legitimate massages, ” Myles said to HuffPost. “The genuine businesses are very frustrated that these imposters that have nothing to do with real massage have weaved their own way into the industry promote sex by exploiting susceptible women. ”
To read the whole Polaris report, click here.
Your skill if you suspect a business
From Polaris’ post, here’ s how you can take action if you suspect a business to be a trafficking front.
Concerned community members can play an important role within ending massage parlor trafficking, but it’s critical that it’s done in a careful way.
Merely calling police and recommending them to “shut down” a business that looks sketchy may not actually have the intended effect. That’s because most of these businesses are part of organized crime networks and if one location is certainly closed, traffickers will simply shift the women to another. Worse yet, such police operations can often result in trafficking victims being caught and booked on prostitution charges.
You should also avoid entering massage parlors you think may be illicit massage businesses (IMBs), attempting to talk to potential victims, or consuming actions designed to draw attention to a particular business (like protesting outside) — all of which could be damaging to victims. Trying to talk with potential victims may alert traffickers (who are usually monitoring the women by camera), and drawing attention to the business can lead the traffickers to pick up and move their whole operation before victims can be identified and provided with providers.
If you realise that a location is an IMB, you should instead call in a suggestion to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888).
To read the entirety of Polaris’ post, click here.
Porn normalizes this exploitation
Trafficking will be inseparably connected to porn, if not because the trafficking scenarios referred to in the Polaris report are sold as sexual fantasy upon porn sites, but also since the industry heavily fuels the existing concern of sex trafficking. This particular report especially illustrates which is not just difficult to talk about porn material without talking about sexual exploiation—it is impossible .
“ Asian Teen Massage Female Begs For C—, ” 12. 2 million sights. “ Sex Massage Porn, ” 116k views. “ Poor Guy in a Therapeutic massage Parlor Didn’ t Obtain a Happy Ending, ” 17. 7k views.
These are just a few real game titles of porn videos quickly found on mainstream porn sites, with thousands more within the “ massage porn” group.
Plus sure, the performers could very well be “ playing” the part of a massage parlor employee (although there’s no real method to know), but you can be certain that the scenarios they portray do not focus on that detail—for almost all any consumer knows, especially considering the videos that claims to be “ real, ” these could be exploited and trafficked women advertised on porn sites. How is that will acceptable?
The end result is that if we’re really going to tackle the issue of sexual exploitation as a society, we need to be aware of all the places where this particular unacceptable behavior is normalized, and even promoted. The same kind of behavior described in Polaris’ trafficking report is easily accessible for anybody with an internet connection to watch. How is this helpful, and not complicit, in fighting sex trafficking? This is why we’re speaking out and shining a light at the connection between porn and sex trafficking.
Normalizing trafficking and exploitation shouldn’t be normal. A person with us?
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