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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Unseen and Unforgiving: Massage Brothels and the Sex Trafficking of Chinese Women


In recognition of the thousands of Asian women who are sexually trafficked from China into the United States each year, I decided to research the historical roots of sexual trafficking and the current conditions that the victims face. Historical and ongoing marginalization of communities of color into urban slums have created a foundation for illegal trafficking that is largely visible in the public eye, but the actual victims remain invisible. Current laws that are meant to help victims of sexual trafficking lack sensitivity in the intersectionality of culture, gender, and sexuality. To help victims of sexual trafficking is to put their narratives in the forefront of discussion and to give them the specialized attention that community grassroots organizations like the Garden of Hope have done.

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