Connect with us

LL.M. Students Tackle Human Trafficking Issues at OAS Summit in Washington, D.C.

By March 15, 2024College of Law

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera and Adriana Montoya, students in the LL.M. Program in Intercultural Human Rights, participated in the Inaugural Summit of Hispanic Voices United for Human Rights and Against Human Trafficking, organized by and convened at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS), on March 11-12, 2024, in Washington D.C. The Summit was inaugurated by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. The Summit gathered 120 Hispanic Human Trafficking, Refugee and Human Rights leader-advocates from the USA, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Spain. Among others, the summit addressed the issue of human trafficking. Hispanic leaders shared contributions aimed at combatting modern-day slavery, a vile criminal activity that attacks the vulnerable globally.

The summit marks a significant milestone as the first of its kind of Hispanic voices, and it will leave a lasting impact on the OAS’s work. Both Bettina and Adriana contributed to the event with novel ideas to find better ways of raising awareness and educate people about human trafficking, with specific emphasis in working together locally, such as the training of the code enforcement officers, who are in constant contact with the business and can more readily identify an establishment that is being used for these means. Another issue they raised is educating young people in schools and beyond. The Summit’s goal was to gather new ideas and policies to strengthen efforts to reduce the negative consequences currently being experienced, and to find short and long-term solutions. A document will be prepared by a working group and it will be presented to the OAS.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera was specifically recognized in the Summit for her contributions to the cause and was selected to be part of the working group. The LL.M. students expressed their deep appreciation for St. Thomas University Benjamin L. Crump College of Law’s pioneering work in addressing this critical issue, for the profound knowledge they have gained about law, policy and practice related to human trafficking and human rights.

It is an honor to be part of an academic community that genuinely cares about the protection of human rights; I am grateful for that,” noted Adriana. “I appreciate the experience St. Thomas has given me and the knowledge I have received from Professor Wiessner and Professor Pati, as well as from this incredible program. I look forward to acquiring knowledge and applying the tools I continue to gain from it,” wrote Bettina.

STU News

Author STU News

More posts by STU News