On November 4, 2022, the John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy of St. Thomas University College of Law with the support of the Banu Foundation hosted the event: Incorporating Human Trafficking Law and Policy in Law School Curriculum at St. Thomas University.
The event brought together leaders impacting the teaching of human trafficking law and policy in higher education from throughout the nation. The expert panel was moderated by Dr. Roza Pati, Founding Director of the Academy, and included the extraordinary appearance of the Honorable Suleman Masood, Council Chair of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Person, U.S. Department of State; Professor Luz E. Nagle, Professor of Law at Stetson College of Law and Fulbright Senior Scholar – Spain 2019; Professor Barbara A. Martinez, Partner at Holland & Knight LLP and Adjunct Professor of Law at University of Miami; Professor Elizabeth M. Donovan, Professor of Law at Eastern Michigan University; Professor Linh K. Dai, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at Duquesne University School of Law. In addition, Professor Brendan M. Conner, Assistant Professor of Law of St. Thomas University College of Law, served as a Discussant during the event. The expert speakers shared their rich backgrounds, knowledge, and experiences from their work as academics, scholars, practitioners, legal professionals, and clinicians, and explained how these experiences intersect with their doctrinal course syllabi and clinical work in law schools.
Among the distinguished guests attending were the representatives of several consulates including Mr. Tomas Abreu, Honorary Consul, Consulate of Monaco; Mr. Marvin Brathwaite, Consul, Consulate General of Barbados in Miami; Mr. Marc Buaquina, Consul, Consulate General of Canada in Miami; and Dr. Viktória Sass, Consul, Vice Consulate of Hungary. Participants also included law enforcement officials, government officials, attorneys and paralegals, health care professionals, NGOs, faith-based organizations, child and school advocates, victim advocates, academics, and students.
“Training and education related to human trafficking have been mandated for law enforcement, medical professionals, social services, educators, counselors, and various other professions or vocations. However, there is still a need for such learning to be mainstreamed. This panel emphasizes the importance of teaching human trafficking law and policy in higher education as well as the best practices to proliferate these opportunities among law schools. Today, we are just scratching the surface, and we are determined to go all the way through to making the teaching and education on human trafficking part and parcel of higher education, in this country and across the globe,” said Dr. Roza Pati.
The event was co-sponsored by the Banu Foundation which is devoted to three goals: empowering, protecting, and educating at-risk children and women around the world. The Foundation is focused on anti-trafficking initiatives ranging from youth educational programs in Miami, a regional Latin America conference, a law enforcement training in Tanzania, and supporting Ukrainian refugees in Poland vulnerable to human trafficking. The Banu Foundation was established by the Mehrabi family of Miami Beach, Florida.
“It’s an honor for Banu Foundation to be a part of this timely event among thought leaders who are raising awareness of the importance and complexity of teaching human trafficking in law schools, and making a difference. We hope that this collaboration with St. Thomas University College of Law and its John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy will lead to more such efforts in the near future, as Banu intends to take a more active role, and do some good,” said Anna Mehrabi, Trustee of the Banu Foundation.