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New Jersey Massage Parlours Fuel Sex Trade Says New Report


CNBNews Staff

According to a new report released by a non-profit group, New Jersey is home to 6a00d8341bf7d953ef0154354a24bc970c-800wihundreds of illegal massage parlors which are serving as fronts for the illegal sex trade. These parlors could potentially be harboring thousands of victims of human trafficking.

The Polaris Project works to advocate for the measures necessary to reduce, and ultimately eliminate human trafficking. Their research found 373 potential illegal massage parlors in the New Jersey area that advertised sexual services. Taking the data for the nation of a whole, Polaris discovered 3,000 human trafficking cases connected to 9,000 individual parlors across the US.

New Jersey

The data that Polaris collected points to New Jersey as being a particularly troubled area; the state now forms the focus of the group’s current efforts to eradicate human trafficking from urban centers across the United States. The large number of businesses and immigrants in close proximity in New Jersey, combined with its proximity to New York City were cited by Polaris as being factors contributing to the problem in the state.

The report shows that the majority of trafficking victims are of Asian descent, specifically Chinese or Korean. It is mostly women in their thirties that are trafficked and most have a basic level of education and some knowledge of English. Many of them have children or other dependents overseas.

Lured to America

Recruiters lure vulnerable women into sex trafficking by offering them fantastic sounding offers in America, usually not revealing the true nature of the work until much later. Many of the women are offered transport to the United States in exchange for a fee. This fee is taken on as debt and often when the women arrive in the United States, the fee increases substantially. The debt is then used as leverage to keep the women in servitude.

Victims are regularly moved around the country so that they cannot form roots and will find it difficult to formulate escape strategies.


Most of those who use the services of these women are earning in excess of $100,000 a year, a finding that Polaris had not expected. The report highlights the role that power dynamics between victims of trafficking and those who use and provide their services play in keeping women in servitude.

The group hopes to reframe the debate around sex trafficking so that it pays particular attention to the illegal massage parlors which facilitate the worst exploitation.

While the stories that are recounted in this report are certainly tragic and very troubling, they should not affect perceptions of legitimate massage parlors. Massage can provide numerous benefits to recipients and it is believed to help with a number of physical and emotional ailments. If you are concerned about inadvertently funding one of these illicit massage parlors, the best way of avoiding them is simply to make sure that you research beforehand. Reputable massage providers will have professional websites, such as 

The Polaris groups hope that the publication of this new report will help to raise awareness of the nature and scale of the sex trafficking problem in North America. New Jersey seems particularly susceptible to the problem, but there are solutions out there.