On August 25, 2022, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and Global Ties Miami, The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy of St. Thomas University College of Law was pleased to host a delegation of international government officials and professionals from throughout Africa for: Academic Institutions at the Forefront of Educating and Training on Human Trafficking Law, Policy, and Practice.
The 15 participants hailed from Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, and Tunisia. The delegation of judges, prosecutors, academics, government officials, and other dignitaries working across the public and private sectors are at the forefront of combatting trafficking in persons and protecting human rights in their respective countries.
David A. Armstrong, J.D., President of St. Thomas University, and Prof. John Makdisi, Dean of St. Thomas University College of Law, welcomed the dignitaries to the event and encouraged their continued efforts to combat human trafficking. President Armstrong emphasized the importance of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, the inherent human dignity of every person created in God’s image. He further highlighted the need for a vanguard involvement of institutions of higher education in ethical leadership as they address modern day slavery in their daily work through education, research, advocacy and survivor empowerment.
Dr. Roza Pati, Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Academy, and Dr. Heidi Schaeffer, a licensed physician and a pioneer in addressing the intersection of human trafficking with health care, respectively presented on Fostering Partnerships in Addressing Human Trafficking: The Role of Academia and the Role of Healthcare Professionals.