Petition Closed

In the coming weeks the Pittsburgh City Council will vote on whether to regulate sex trafficking out of the massage industry--or not. Women trafficked in massage parlors may be forced to see 6 to 10 clients a day, working 10am to 2am, seven days a week. It is a crime which degrades our common humanity.

In Pittsburgh, there are 15+ massage parlors advertised and reviewed on forums catering to men who buy sex. These are only a tiny number of the 5000+ brothels which appear to sell sex in the United States, and are at a high risk of involving sex trafficking. However, there is no acceptable number of slaves in any American city, so even these few must leave.

The massage parlor regulation ordinance, Bill No. 2011 - 1635, builds upon the strong work of Pennsylvania Massage Therapists' state licensure law and teases apart legitimate from illegitimate massage establishments. The ordinance includes requirements that windows be unbarred, massage-room doors unlocked, and establishments properly advertised. If it passes in tact, Pittsburgh will be the first city in the United States to comprehensively approach ending sex trafficking in massage parlors. If it does not, women will continue to be enslaved. Please help us encourage the Pittsburgh city council to vote YES on this bill.

If you are interested in ending sex trafficking in your neighborhood using a similar bill, please contact Jessica Dickinson Goodman (jdickins [at] andrew [dot] cmu [dot] edu) or Jaime Turek (jevanoski [at] endhumantrafficking [dot] org).

If you are interested in learning more about human trafficking or if you would like to become involved in Pittsburgh, please visit The Project to End Human Trafficking at

Letter to
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith
Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus
Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak
and 6 others
Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle
Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd
Pittsburgh City Councilman William Peduto
Pittsburgh City Councilman Reverend Rocky Burgess
President, Pittsburgh City Council Darlene M. Harris
Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields
Sex trafficking degrades our common humanity and I urge you to vote YES on Bill No. 2011 - 1635 and to help end sex trafficking in Pittsburgh. Within the Pittsburgh city limits there appear to be at least 15 brothels posing as massage parlors, all of which are at a higher risk for sex trafficking. These establishments advertise and are reviewed in online forums publicly.

According to the Polaris Project women trafficked in massage parlors may be forced to see 6 to 10 clients a day, working 10am to 2am, seven days a week. A victim of modern-day slavery may have come to our city in search of a better life, but she found is a locked door, a bed, and a quota.

Thank you for your time and energetic pursuit of the good. Together, we can make Pittsburgh a safer and better home for everyone. With your support, Pittsburgh can become the gold standard for ending sex trafficking in a major city's massage parlors.


Jaime Turek started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,699 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.