Chinese Employment Agencies and the Illicit Massage Industry

U.S.-based Chinese employment agencies identify domestic jobs for newly arrived Chinese nationals and Chinese citizens seeking to emigrate to the United States. A number of Chinese victim workers first reported learning about the illicit massage industry (IMI) from these agencies and some victims share overlapping public records histories with these entities, according to a limited body of reporting. Although these agencies fulfill staffing needs in a variety of industries, job advertisements for the massage industry are ubiquitous. Uncovering definitive, wide-scale links between these agencies and the broader IMI, however, remains an intelligence gap. Nevertheless, we assess that sustained engagement and improved monitoring of these agencies could raise awareness about trafficking realities and potentially impede IMI sourcing tactics.

These agencies are primarily concentrated in New York City and the greater Los Angeles area; however, they can also be found in many metropolitan areas.

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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.

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