The law governing business registration in the United States shields human traffickers from arrest and prosecution. This is particularly problematic in the illicit massage industry, which boasts some 9,000 business locations in the United States, many of which are also human trafficking venues, according to a Polaris’ analysis.
Of those, Polaris found only about 6,000 illicit massage parlors had business records. And less than 30 percent of those had an actual person listed on the business records. Furthermore, only 21 percent of the 6,000 business records specified the name of the owner—and even in those cases, there is no way to know if the information provided is legitimate.
Law enforcement can’t effectively combat human trafficking if they don’t have all the information they need, and the current laws are helping traffickers cover their tracks. The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019 in the House and the ILLICIT CASH Act in the Senate are bipartisan bills that give law enforcement the tools they need to find traffickers and to hold them accountable.
To learn more about how corporate secrecy fuels human trafficking read our report.