A recent high-profile sting operation in Florida highlighted the tragedy of human trafficking conducted by illegitimate massage therapy operators. Human trafficking is a serious issue in California as well, but is not prevalent among massage therapists certified by the California Massage Therapy Council (CAMTC). The Florida situation highlights the danger to society when human trafficking is allowed to flourish, and no CAMTC certificate holders have ever been identified as a victim or perpetrator of human trafficking.
Since its inception over a decade ago, CAMTC has worked in partnership with law enforcement agencies throughout the state to fight human trafficking in legitimate massage businesses, and has developed a model approach to the issue in a state that has seen human trafficking dramatically increase in a number of realms.
The President of the California Police Chiefs Association (Cal Chiefs), Morgan Hill Police Chief David Swing, notes that “California’s police chiefs recognize the impacts of human trafficking in our communities. We have partnered with the California Massage Therapy Council to proactively strengthen the massage industry in California and are committed to continued work in this area.”
CAMTC’s 50,000 certificate holders regularly receive information about how to identify and report human trafficking in massage, and CAMTC has been diligent about keeping the issue at the forefront to protect massage therapists and consumers.
“Prevention of human trafficking has been a core CAMTC initiative for over a decade, and we have several efforts in place to limit its spread in California,” added CAMTC Chief Executive Officer Ahmos Netanel. “We focus on massage schools, individual therapists, consumers, anti-human trafficking task forces, victim advocacy groups, and law enforcement agencies in a coordinated effort that has been extremely successful.”
CAMTC and law enforcement agencies throughout the state continue to work in partnership to stop human trafficking. CAMTC, in its role as a Cal Chiefs Strategic Partner, will provide training on human trafficking prevention in early March at the Cal Chiefs annual training symposium in Santa Clara. For more information go to: https://www.camtc.org/cpca-strategic-partners
This article was released by the California Massage Therapy Council.