northern Colorado human trafficking symposium website

Disrupting Illicit Massage Businesses IMB

This presentation is based upon a 2021 report on illicit massage businesses (IMBs) and human trafficking in Ohio. Additional research has been conducted and the report’s findings have been adapted to the context of Colorado.

Anthony “Tony” Talbott will present an overview of illicit massage businesses (IMBs) and provide detailed policy recommendations aimed at reducing commercial sexual and labor exploitation within this sector. This research builds upon recent research on IMBs conducted by Polaris (2018), Heyrick Research (2020), and others. This study examines the many intersectional causes and effects of this exploitation and offers an overview of state law, content analysis and coding of municipal ordinances from a sample of Colorado cities. It also presents examples of IMB advertising, reviews from commercial sex web sites, and quantitative analysis of media reports. The presentation will conclude with a multi-faceted disruption strategy and recommendations for government officials, law enforcement personnel, service providers, advocates, and concerned community members to help prevent exploitation and trafficking and reduce the number of IMBs in their communities.


Anthony N. Talbott