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Sex Trafficking Foster Children PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 06:22

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Some children in the county's foster care system are being recruited as child prostitutes, members of the Board of Supervisors acknowledged today as they approved the creation of a task force to address the problem.

"The average age of entry into prostitution is 12 years old, and the average life expectancy following entry is seven years,'' said Supervisor Michael Antonovich, citing sources from the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI.

Proposition 35, approved by voters earlier this month, increases prison terms for human traffickers, requires convicted traffickers to register as sex offenders, mandates training for law enforcement officers and requires criminal fines to help victims.

Supervisor Don Knabe has also backed initiatives by the county's Probation Department to fight child prostitution and thrown his support behind an ad campaign designed to raise awareness of the issue.

But Antonovich said he was especially concerned about children in the county's foster care system.

"These children often come from broken homes with a history of neglect and abuse, and foster children often overlap with runaway and homeless youth with a lack of resources that makes them more vulnerable,'' Antonovich said.

In 2010, 174 children under the age of 18 were arrested for prostitution-related crimes in the county, according to Antonovich.

He said pimps were recruiting foster care children at the DCFS emergency center and from group homes across the county.

The board directed the Department of Children and Family Services to collaborate with the Probation Department, District Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Department, other law enforcement agencies and the Department of Mental Health to find additional ways to combat the problem.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 November 2012 06:32