Massage Parlor Bill Aims To Curb Pittsburgh ‘Sex Trafficking’

PITTSBURGH — City Councilman Doug Shields is introducing a bill to license massage parlor employees in an effort to prevent sex trafficking by women he says are “hidden away right under our noses” in Pittsburgh.”It’s a horrible story, it’s one that needs a response, and it needs the full cooperation of everybody,” Shields said Monday.A news conference was held with members of the Project to End Human Trafficking, a Pittsburgh-based group which said it has identified 15 massage parlors in the city and seven more in the suburbs that it believes are fronts for prostitution and, possibly, trafficking in young Asian women forced to have sex.Requiring a city license would force businesses to open their books to auditors and create a means for police to uncover any possible illegal activities, Shields said.

Along with licensing, the bill also includes a list of operational requirements for massage parlors.”The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by regulating massage establishments and massage practitioners. Through licensing and a list of operational requirements, this ordinance may prevent sex trafficking in persons and commercial sexual exploitation,” the ordinance paperwork says.The proposed legislation will be up for discussion at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.


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