COUNCILMAN BILL GREENLEE TO INTRODUCE ORDINANCE TO COMBAT THE USE OF ILLEGAL MASSAGE BUSINESSES AS A FRONT FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

In Blondell Reynolds Brown, Council News, News, William K. Greenlee by PHL Council

Philadelphia, June 20, 2018 – Today in Philadelphia City Council, Councilman Bill Greenlee (At Large) will introduce legislation that aims to promote health and public safety of the community and prevent traffickers from using massage parlors as a front for illegal activity and human trafficking;

According to a recently released report by the Polaris Project, a world renowned anti-trafficking organization, there are more than 9,000 illicit massage businesses operating in the U.S. in plain sight, 260 of those businesses are in Pennsylvania.

According to Councilman Greenlee “There are simple things we can legislate on the local level to fight human trafficking which is a global crisis. We do not want to hurt legitimate massage businesses but want to make it more difficult for human traffickers to operate in the city under the guise of a legitimate business.”

The legislation requires the massage therapy businesses to register with the Department of Licenses and Inspections and maintain detailed records of services performed. It also restricts hours of operation from 10pm to 7am, and requires all licenses, certificates and registrations to be prominently displayed in an area visible to the public along with price of services.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown (At Large), who is co-sponsoring the bill said, “We must demand accountability from business owners who profit off the abuse and exploitation of people through human trafficking. This bill is an exploiter-focused, victim-centered approach to human trafficking in Philadelphia that hopes to ensure that no business is a front for trafficked commercial sex operations. The City of Philadelphia will not tolerate business fraud nor this vicious cycle of modern day slavery founded on threats and lies that are coupled with poverty and the fear of retaliation and violence. Our intent is to punish the trafficker and block all avenues for human trafficking in massage businesses while enabling legitimate massage businesses to flourish.”

The City Council will consider the Ordinance at a public hearing this Fall.

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