University of Washington Center for Human Rights' 2023 Spring Symposium Spotlights Strategies for Massage Parlor Workers' Rights Project

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

The University of Washington's Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) recently hosted its 2023 Spring Symposium and Award Celebration, drawing attention to the groundbreaking Strategies for Massage Parlor Workers' Rights project. This collaborative effort between UWCHR and the Massage Parlor Outreach Project (MPOP) is dedicated to enhancing the living and working conditions of Asian migrant massage and sex workers in Seattle's Chinatown/International District and the surrounding areas. 

The two faculty leads for the research project were Chandan Reddy (GWSS, UW Seattle) and Ching-In Chen (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell), who worked together with MPOP, a community-based organization whose key members include Shuxuan Zhou (GWSS PhD ’17). This collaboration brought Chinese migrant students as research interns into dialogue with Chinese migrant workers in an effort to document and lift up their histories, power, and knowledge of systems that collude to exploit.  

The symposium received widespread support from various sponsors, including Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies and the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies, underscoring the event's interdisciplinary nature. You can now access video footage of the symposium's proceedings (with the option to skip to 14:22 to bypass the awards ceremony). This presents an opportunity to delve into the crucial work being undertaken to address the rights and well-being of marginalized workers within Seattle's massage parlors and sex work industry.