Collective Liberty subject matter experts conducted 3 years field building around systems change work to eliminate massage parlor trafficking from the USA. Since founding Collective Liberty we have continued to track the progress of our work, and seen over 10% of the nation’s massage trafficking venues CLOSED as a result.

While at Polaris, Rochelle Keyhan, Collective Liberty, CEO and lead author of this report, and her team of subject matter experts, including founding board members of Collective Liberty, Veronica Buckley, Meghan Carton, and Eliza Carmen, created this report documenting their work disrupting massage parlor trafficking networks in the United States. Our current team collectively trained over 3,000 police officers and 4,000 financial crimes investigators on the best practices identified in this report, and have provided intelligence analysis and case-building support for over 100 illicit massage business trafficking cases. Read the report below.


Three months after the release of the above report, Keyhan testified at the April 30, 2018 informational hearing “Update on the Regulation of Massage Therapy in California: Business Oversight and Best Practices” before the California Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee. Watch her testimony here, which begins at the 58 minute mark.

“In January 2017, Polaris released a comprehensive report on illicit massage businesses in the United States. To build this report, Polaris’s Disruption Strategies team undertook a rigorous 18-month data-collection effort. We looked at 185 criminal case dockets and over 375 additional and unique prosecuted illicit massage businesses. We listened to knowledge from over 1,300 survivor experiences, gathered in focus groups. We researched how victims are recruited, studying patterns across over 17,000 advertisements in California and New York, as well as social media recruitment via WeChat and KakaoTalk. We collected 21 months worth of U.S. media coverage of investigations and arrests in illicit massage businesses. To understand the legal landscape across the country, we looked at the civil code for over 30,000 U.S. jurisdictions, including state, city, and county laws. To round
out all of this information, our analysts added over 60,000 pieces of additional open source data from buyer review boards, social media, business records, and other open source data sets connected to those data points. It was a massive project. When we combined and cross-referenced all of this data with our internal hotline data, we found that there are more than 9,000 illicit massage businesses operating on any given day in America, in every single state.”

Join us as we collaborate to end human trafficking, city by city, criminal network by criminal network. Your support will help us have similar success across the other two dozen types of human trafficking happening in our country every day.