It’s everywhere. It’s extremely profitable. And it’s exploiting the vulnerable. As of 2022, there are over 11,000 illicit massage businesses (IMBs) in all 50 states. Whether in big cities or small towns, this criminal industry is thriving in plain sight.
How can so many illicit advertising websites continue to profit off human trafficking and exploitation without consequence? As you might imagine, the answer is complex.
“Why don’t the women just leave?” When answering this question, it is critical to understand the nuances of force, fraud, and coercion that traffickers use to exploit workers in the illicit massage industry.
Tax evasion. Money laundering. Racketeering. Labor law violations. If we want to defeat traffickers, then we need to charge outside the (human trafficking) box.
Popular sex buyer review websites reveal sex buyers’ racist stereotyping and flagrant dehumanization of Asian women in illicit massage businesses.
The quantifiable impact of demand deterrence tactics is almost never measured. If we want to effectively combat human trafficking, then this needs to change.
Strengthening local massage ordinances, with both effective prevention and enforcement measures, is critical to create an inoperable environment for illicit massage traffickers.
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.
The Network’s field support helped assist Ventura County law enforcement build a case that resulted in the takedown of a statewide organized crime sex trafficking ring.
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.