On Nov. 21, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved 4th District County Supervisor Janice Hahn’s motion that would require massage parlors in LA County to undergo periodic County Department of Public Health inspections, according to a press release from Hahn’s office.
The inspections would certify that establishments are meeting health and safety standards in an attempt to deter illegal practices, and public-health staff would also be trained to identify human trafficking.
“It is clear to me that massage parlors in our communities have become safe havens for human trafficking,” Hahn said. “They operate with near zero scrutiny, and we have seen a glut of new massage parlors open– offering massages as low as $15 or $20. Workers, often undocumented immigrants, are intimidated into working long, hard hours for nearly no pay. By requiring regular inspections, we can begin to identify trafficking already taking place and deter it in the future.”
The motion passed on Tuesday, authored by Hahn and co-authored by 1st District LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, will direct the LA County Counsel to draft an ordinance establishing massage-parlor health and safety standards and requiring annual inspections, according to Hahn’s office. Staff carrying out the inspections will be trained to identify the signs of human trafficking, including both labor trafficking and sex trafficking.
“The health and safety of my constituents is my No. 1 concern,” Solis said. “It is important that the county takes the necessary steps to ensure that the massage establishments are following proper protocols when serving the community. This is also an opportunity to reduce illegal activities, such as human trafficking, at these facilities.”
While the ordinance would only apply to unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, cities within the county could choose to adopt the ordinance. The drafted ordinance will be presented to the board in 180 days.
Source: Hahn’s office