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Curbing Human Trafficking through education, research and outreach

By July 13, 2017College of Law
Florida has seen a 35 percent increase in reported human trafficking cases, ranking third in the United States for the most reported cases in 2016, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Last year, the state reported 550 cases, which includes 401 cases of sex trafficking and 92 cases of labor trafficking. In 2015, 407 cases were reported.
St. Thomas University School of Law has been a pioneering educational institution in addressing this growing problem. In order to build the necessary human resource infrastructure to effectively confront human trafficking, St. Thomas University will host its annual Human Trafficking Academy, July 31 – August 4, 2017.
“The dignity of every human being should be the guiding light of all law and policy; and the Catholic social teaching demands us to protect the dignity of all, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable amongst us,” said Roza Pati, STU law professor, and founder and director of the Human Trafficking Academy. “We designed this summer’s academy with a clear vision to empower participants to be a meaningful part of our great nation’s efforts to eradicate human trafficking while providing dignified care to victims and survivors.”
The academy offers 15 intensive and interactive courses, taught by top-level experts, academics and practitioners, to empower attendees with knowledge, skills and tools to address the many aspects of human trafficking.
Speakers include:
  • Barbara Martinez, Chief, Special Prosecutions Section, U.S. DOJ, Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Janet Basilan, Survivor of human trafficking and Vice Chairperson of GABRIELA USA
  • Greg H. Bristol, President, The Human Trafficking Investigations & Training Institute (Former FBI Special Agent)
  • Sean Sellers, Director of Strategic Partnerships, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative, Sarasota, Florida
  • Brenda Mezick, Chief, Human Trafficking Unit, Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office

Upon completion of the training, participants will be awarded a certificate by St. Thomas University School of Law.

Registration deadline for the academy is July 21. To register, please visit

For more information, visit the Human Trafficking Academy website here, or email

Marlen Lebish

Author Marlen Lebish

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