FULLERTON (CBSLA.com) — Human trafficking is an underreported problem both in Southern California and globally, the Orange County district attorney testified at a congressional hearing Monday.

The hearing at the Cal State Fullerton to address the issue of modern-day slavery was called by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs,  chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton).

“Human exploitation and trafficking generally comes in two forms: forced labor, which we believe is highly underreported, and commercial sexual exploitation,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said.

The average sex slave is 12 years old, according to Rackauckas.

Royce told KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore that education is one preventive measure.

“In the schools, create awareness,” Royce said. “So that 12-year-old, 13-year-old girls understand that sometimes when these Romeos approach them and say, ‘Hey let’s leave the community, you come with me’ they have some inkling of what could be down the road.”

Royce also said a crackdown on international labor brokers would help to address the growing problem.

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