The majority of young people arrested on prostitution charges in LA County come from the county's own foster care system, according to county officials.
Even more shocking, pimps use child sex workers to recruit fellow foster care children who are currently living in shelters and foster homes.
This is according to Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who introduced a motion to establish a task force to investigate sex trafficking in the foster care system. The LA County Board of Supervisors passed the motion Tuesday.
Antonovich's motion reports that the average age of entry into prostitution is 12 years old and that the average life expectancy following entry is seven years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI.
Earlier this month, Californians overwhelmingly voted to support Proposition 35, or the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act. The proposition strengthens penalties against human traffickers and decriminalizes prostitution for minors. But decriminalization means a shift of responsibility towards the county Department of Children and Family Services -- a responsibility that the department says it's unprepared to handle.
The department cannot prevent children from running away, and many young sex workers fear they will be punished by their pimps if they don't run away from their homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The video above tells the stories of young girls who fell victim to sex trafficking in LA and exposes the kind of tactics the pimps use. The video was released over the summer by LA County Supervisor Don Knabe as a part of a county-wide anti-child sex trafficking campaign.
The task force examining foster care victims will report back with recommendations in six months.