Britain's Migrant Sex Workers

Ming and Beata share neither the same language nor cultural background, yet their stories are remarkably similar. Both are single mothers in their thirties and both came to Britain in search of a new life: Ming from China and Beata from Poland. Neither imagined that their journey would end in a British brothel.

In this chilling exposé, Hsiao-Hung Pai works undercover as a housekeeper in brothels and unveils the terrible reality of the British sex trade. Many workers are trapped, some are controlled - the lack of freedoms this invisible strait of society suffers is both shocking and scandalous and at odds with the idea of a modern Britain in the twenty-first century.

Published by Saqi Books, 2013


"This is investigative journalism at its best. Fearless, rigorous and compassionate, Invisible is a shocking exposé of Britain's shadow world of sex slaves that enthralls and shames by turn. A master storyteller, Hsiao-Hung Pai opens a door onto one of the most secretive and least understood communities in the UK. Essential reading for anyone interested in the real price of sex."

James Brabazon, author of My Friend the Mercenary

"A profound, disturbing and compassionate account of the tragic lives of women migrant workers who live and suffer in our midst ... Once read there is no place for denial or complacency - they can be invisible no longer"

                                                                                    - Helen Bamber 

"To navigate the sex trade of Chinese women in the UK with Invisible is to feel the desperation of thousands of women who enter sex work as the only option for survival. Hsiao-Hung Pai has done it again; she went undercover, smelled the breath of violence, cried hidden in a brothel bathroom and videotaped the underworld of pimps and madams who make their living off slaving women in need. Hsiao-Hung deflates the myth of sex work as a free choice for migrant women." 

                                                  - Lydia Cacho, author of Slavery Inc.

Reviews, Extract & Interviews

Guardian extract

(It was the most viewed article of the day on Guardian Society) 

Chinese edition
<隐形性产业: 英国移民性工作者> 

2015年四月在台湾出版 (南方家园出版社) 


Seminar in Taipei

Protect health and well-being for sex workers:

See UK Network for Sex Workers Projects