The "No Trafficking Zone" Act
Senate Bill 1831, known as the "No Trafficking Zone Act," addresses student vulnerability by imposing increased penalties for offenses on or near school premises and during school functions. Offenders contacting, arranging meetings, or picking up students within the designated "No Trafficking Zone" face enhanced penalties, including technology-based pick-ups during school hours.
"No Trafficking Zones" will be established on school grounds, during functions, and within 1000 feet of these areas. SB 1831 mandates posting signs with information to report suspicious activity, reducing the impact of traffickers on children and their learning environment. This bill enhances penalties for solicitation or trafficking on school premises and related activities. A groundbreaking two-year study identified around 79,000 minor and youth victims of sex trafficking in Texas. School campuses are trafficking hotspots, with 55% of survivors being groomed, recruited, or trafficked while in school.
Case studies reveal traffickers using highly organized systems to schedule meetings during school hours and on school premises, exploiting technology and social media platforms for access to vulnerable students. Texas actively combats trafficking in all forms, providing training for educators and staff to recognize, report, and support students at risk of exploitation, implementing effective preventative measures recommended by government agencies and universities. However, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center still lists Texas as one of the most frequently cited locations for child trafficking, indicating the need for further protection for our children.
The bill includes requirements for warning signs around school premises, indicating the penalties for the crime. It also mandates reporting signs for human trafficking in tattoo shops, cosmetology facilities, massage schools, hotels, hospitals, and transportation facilities.