It’s everywhere. It’s extremely profitable. And it’s exploiting women with vulnerabilities. As of 2023, there are over 13,000 illicit massage businesses (IMBs) in all 50 states. Whether in big cities or small towns, this criminal industry is thriving in plain sight.
Tax evasion. Money laundering. Racketeering. Labor law violations. If we want to defeat traffickers, then we need to charge outside the (human trafficking) box.
The quantifiable impact of demand deterrence tactics is almost never measured. If we want to effectively combat human trafficking, then this needs to change.
The Atlanta shootings were an utter tragedy. But failing to have difficult conversations about the nature of these businesses only protects the owners who profit off exploitation.
U.S.-based Chinese employment agencies fulfill staffing needs in a variety of industries, but job advertisements for the massage industry are ubiquitous.
The US illicit massage industry operates as a largely unregulated, multibillion-dollar transnational criminal enterprise. To defeat illicit massage traffickers, we need to learn how the money works.
We frequently speak with the media to give background about trafficking in the illicit massage industry. Here is a brief FAQ.
Research and analysis is where we interpret, synthesize, and validate information–it’s where actionable intelligence is born. Our reports discuss a range of topics, including deeper dives into trafficker’s business operations, strategic opportunities for disruption, and suggestions for addressing key intelligence gaps. All of our research currently focuses on one type of trafficking–the US illicit massage industry.