DENVER (KDVR) — Massage businesses in Denver must meet new licensing and regulation requirements in an effort to curb Human Trafficking.
Bill 21-0712 received unanimous approval from Denver City Council on Monday, it now goes to Mayor Hancock.
The licensing process includes submitting an application, paying a one-time $500 application fee and an annual $250 licensing fee and passing a city inspection.
The new regulations include business ownership transparency and background checks, defined hours of operation and defined consequences for noncompliance.
Human Trafficking involves the exploitation of someone for commercial sex and/or forced labor through force, fraud or coercion, according to city officials.
“…they answer an ad for a massage therapist and discover, too late, that ‘massage’ is a euphemism and that they are expected to provide services for which they will be paid some portion of the tips they earn, if they are lucky, or less, if they are not. They live in substandard conditions, work illegal hours ‘on call,’ and many feel they have no choice but to comply with the mandate to perform sex acts.” –Polaris IMB Report
If you or someone you know needs help, access the Colorado Human Trafficking hotline.