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Is Police the Greatest Threat to the Safety of Massage Parlor Workers?

Experts say the fear of arresting massage workers (many of which are undocumented) is greater than the fear of robbery or assault from clients. The lives of massage workers are routinely upset by law enforcement oversight of the workplace. Illustration: Susie Ann / Guardian A masked New York City police officer wears plain clothes and enters an Asian massage parlor. He looks like any other client. He requests a massage and when they are alone he asks his masseuse if she can provide sexual services. The masseuse may not speak English very well, so she may agree without understanding what she is looking for. If she refuses, police officers may try to persuade her to have sexual activity by touching or groping her feet. In some cases, he may receive the services he requested or request them in exchange for her evasive arrest. In other cases, sexual services are totally disagreeable, but the worker’s body language can be misunderstood to claim otherwise. Massage workers will probably be arrested on the spot by undercover agents. Immigration customs authorities and federal agents may accompany undercover agents. (The Ice Agent may also appear later in court.) If she is not properly qualified and faces additional legal issues related to her, she will be prosecuted and unauthorized. Immigration status as a result of being prosecuted for some combination of massage offerings. This can happen when massage businesses in Asia are investigated by law enforcement agencies, as explained by massage worker advocates, sex worker rights groups, public defenders, and massage workers themselves. There is sex. Women working in these facilities are not all sex workers. Some offer non-sexual massage, some cook, clean, and wash in the parlor, while others answer the phone. Most were undocumented migrants, and many chose massage jobs over low-paying jobs in other industries as a way to earn a living and care for their families. Whatever their situation, massage workers know they are afraid of the police when they go to work. Law enforcement agencies may organize investigations to combat sexual trafficking, but massage workers (many of whom chose this job) often see police as the greatest threat to their safety. .. If a massage worker is abused or robbed by a client, sex work violates the law and imposes severe criminal penalties and cannot be reported to the police. Doing so means risking arrest, which means that there is a possibility of criminal record and deportation. Proponents say that the inability of massage workers to go to the police for help, coupled with the stigma associated with their work becoming a crime in the first place, has led to violence, including events such as the Atlanta Spa shooting in March. On the other hand, it is said to be vulnerable. “Historically, the fear of arresting massage workers replaces the fear of both robbery and assault from clients and passers-by,” said Red, a coalition of Asian and migrant sex workers and their allies. Esther Kao, co-director of the Canary Song, said. After an increase in sting operations at massage parlors between 2012 and 2016, the number of Asians arrested in New York for prostitution or unlicensed massages increased by 2,700%. Police have attributed the crackdown on the parlor to community complaints. This was often cited as the reason police officers are investigating massage businesses. Leigh Latimer, head of the Legal Aid Society’s Exploitation Intervention Project (EIP), felt that there might have been other motives as well. Always about community complaints, “she said. “I wasn’t happy with the answer. Let’s say that.” In recent years, the number of arrests in Latimer’s office has dropped significantly. This is partly due to the growing decriminalization movement in the city, urging civil servants, district attorneys and the NYPD to reduce the crackdown on sex workers. In a statement to the New York Police Department’s deputy secretary’s office spokesman, Guardian, a spokeswoman said the investigation’s efforts had shifted to “focusing on those who exploit sex workers rather than sex workers.” On Wednesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that his office would no longer prosecute those charged with prostitution and unlicensed massage. And yes, the assault is still happening in New York, advocates say, and massage workers with legal issues represent them in court and help them set their records. , And continue their path to a team of Latimer lawyers who help connect them to other local organizations, providing resources to those who have become criminals in their sexual business jobs. “From the outside, the District Attorney’s Office and various judges seem to have expressed their great support, saying they don’t want to be police or arrested. [sex workers]”Cate Carbonaro, EIP’s Queen’s Staff Attorney, said. “But now, as we are talking, I’m still receiving new cases of Asian women arrested in the massage business.” Some of them have been charged with more serious crimes than before. I am. Carbonaro suspected that a massage parlor worker was running a business just because the massage parlor worker looked older than the other workers, as city officials promised to stop arresting sex workers. Therefore, we have seen cases of being charged with promoting prostitution for promoting sexual activity there. Or because they happened to open the door to the room for the undercover investigator. “In such cases, I feel that the police can be said to be a trafficker who has reached the root of the problem,” Carbonaro said. “But that’s not what’s happening.” When police rob a job, they lose a way to make a living and are forced into a more dangerous situation. EleneLam “I think it takes a little more sophisticated work to reach the people who own the business,” her colleague Sabrina Tarkuder said, another staff lawyer at EIP. “Our clients are an unmanageable achievement for executives.” Stab wounds may no longer be the police’s primary investigative strategy, but the lives of massage workers are a law enforcement scrutiny of the workplace. Is confused on a daily basis. For example, when authorities close a massage parlor (a tactic aimed at targeting businesses rather than the people who work there), massage workers there are often more vulnerable to trafficking. “For many workers in the parlor, they can work with more people, have less isolation, know more workers, and select clients,” said Toronto-based. Elene Lam, executive director of Butterfly, a support network for putting Asia and immigrants, said sex workers. “When police rob a job, they lose the way to make a living, connect with people, and are forced into more dangerous situations underground.” The more sex work is pushed underground, the more victims of trafficking and exploitation. Fewer people have access to the assistance they need. One form of exploitation lawyer of the Legal Assistance Association may be encountered when a boss withholds or cuts wages when representing a massage worker. If the massage work is treated like any other type of work, these workers file a wage and time claim with the Ministry of Labor and exercise the same labor protection given to other workers. can do. (After all, this kind of labor breach is not unique to the massage industry.) Instead, the stigma of massage parlors and the criminalization of sex work do more than the massage workers try to survive. Is almost impossible. The conditions under which they currently exist and are organized for a better future. “The problem is that sex work and massage work are considered social evils,” Ram said. “when [police] They say they want to get rid of massage parlors They really want to get rid of the women who work there. They think they have the power to kill someone. But women will continue to say, “This is my job and I want to keep it.” “