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Human Trafficking Academy – Continuing to Make a World of Difference

By March 24, 2017Annual Academy, News

The Human Trafficking Academy recently concluded its week-long anti-trafficking training. The Academy, directed by law professor Dr. Roza Pati, welcomed fifty national and international participants; some hailing from as far away as the United Kingdom. They represented various professional groups including attorneys, public defenders/prosecutors, law enforcement, social service providers, students, and faith-based organizations.

Through its multidisciplinary and immersion approach, the Human Trafficking Academy – the only one of its kind – brings together these professionals of various disciplines, training them to work together and complement each other’s efforts in identifying and protecting human trafficking victims. The training highlights the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators, strengthening cooperation amongst anti-trafficking institutions and increasing awareness in order to prevent and combat human trafficking.

During the week, 21 courses were taught by top-level experts and professionals. These courses were designed to empower participants with knowledge and skills to actively and effectively engage in anti-trafficking work.

During the week, the Academy hosted the renowned South Florida television anchor and investigative reporter, Michele Gillen. She discussed the role of the media in combating human trafficking and shared the story of Kyla, a survivor of human trafficking, featured in her short documentary report titled “Trapped.”

Human trafficking survivor Barbara Amaya, who survived domestic sex trafficking as a minor, led a training session titled “Dismantling the Cult of Human Trafficking: A Survivor’s Perspective, in which she shared her transformational story with the attendees, discussed the similarities between domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and cult recruitment, and ways to address and break the existing trauma bond experienced by DMST victims. At the age of 12, Ms. Amaya was forced into sex trafficking in Washington, DC and later on the streets of New York City, for over 10 years.

Attendee Feedback:

“The course was fabulous—the curriculum well thought out. The speakers were well prepared and relevant. I am disappointed it came to an end so quickly. Dr. Pati and her staff were very welcoming, hospitable and genuine.”

“This program was AMAZING. We learned so much. The topics were great and we really enjoyed [them] and had our eyes opened to many things we were unaware of.”

“I would be interested in additional training offered by the Academy. This academy was excellent! I think additional levels of the academy would be a great way for those within different fields to come together again, and learn from each other.”

“Thank you for putting together this training on human trafficking. It was superbly executed and very educational. I appreciated the breadth of instruction on legal efforts, law enforcement actions and social services that target human trafficking. Thank you for bringing in such distinguished lecturers, and some exceptional public speakers such as Regina Bernadin, Michelle Gillen, Maria Jose Fletcher, Benjamin Widlanski, Brenda Mezick, Barbara Amaya, and Sean Sellers. I really enjoyed the entire week and appreciated the opportunity to network with professionals from across the country. Thank you, Professor Pati, for your tireless dedication to fighting human trafficking. It is truly inspiring!”

For more information and to join our efforts, please visit www.humantraffickingacademy.org or contact us at humantrafficking@stu.edu.