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Natural Awakenings, Broward County, Florida

A Holistic Approach to Eradicating Modern Day Slavery

Jan 31, 2023 ● By Dawn Carr

Taking a holistic approach to the extremely complex global issue of modern day slavery (human trafficking) requires the efforts of many disciplines and, for survivors, it’s a lifelong journey with heart-centered healing and personal empowerment. Becoming educated about what trafficking is and how to recognize victims should involve government entities, law enforcement, mental health counselors, the private sector, and organizations, all working together to identify these crimes, promote changing laws and policies, and helping victims become empowered leaders.

The journey to getting more involved starts by seeing the value of every individual, and then educating ourselves about this scourge that occurs in nearly all cultures and countries. For those who have been coerced, kidnapped, or born into slavery, we have to collectively demand their freedom to reconnect with their families. Some enslaved people are hidden while others live in plain sight. Modern day slaves are all around us, as service providers, workers in a manufacturing facility, workers in the fields, crew members on a ship, or anyone at other locations. A person who has been trafficked loses their freedom to change jobs.

 Therefore, many organizations working together is the key to meaningful cultural change. This article is about one organization and one woman whose mission is working with others to eradicate human trafficking—meet Prof. Dr. Roza Pati. Inspired by her work against human trafficking since the early 1990s, Dr. Pati founded in 2010 the John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy, an institute she continues to direct. Formerly a Member of Parliament and a Cabinet Member serving as the Secretary of State for Youth and Women of Albania, Dr. Pati has a wealth of experience in public service and academia. In 2012, Dr. Pati was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI and had the honor at that time of being the only person selected to represent the United States to serve as a Member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace at the Vatican. In 2020, she was appointed by Pope Francis to serve as Member of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, The Vatican. She is a globally published author of books, book chapters and law review articles in multiple languages and she lectures at academic, governmental and intergovernmental institutions around the world.

 Located in Miami Gardens, The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy of St. Thomas University College of Law is at the forefront of work that upholds and advances the inherent value, worth, and dignity of each human being. For more than a decade, the Academy has been developing education programs, conducting research, and advocating for laws and policies to fight human trafficking throughout the world and to empower survivor leadership in our global community.

 The Academy offers specialized training and technical assistance to countries, government entities, academic institutions, the private sector, faith-based organizations, and the community at large on a multitude of issues related to the crime of trafficking. To date, the Academy has influenced thousands of leaders and community members domestically and abroad. As part of St. Thomas University College of Law’s LL.M./J.S.D. Program in Intercultural Human Rights, the Academy addresses human trafficking from the perspective of human rights law and the development of every person as a whole person. This college is the first academic institution in South Florida to shed light on the magnitude and scope of human trafficking, and it is one of the pioneers in fighting human trafficking nationwide.

 Scan the QR Code for more information on the Academy.

 Since 2004, under the leadership of international scholar and expert, Prof. Dr. Roza Pati, laws and policy recommendations were formulated as The Miami Declaration of Principles on Human Trafficking. This declaration has guided law- and policy-makers nationally and internationally.

In 2010, Dr. Pati formally founded the Academy with the support of a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. In 2017, the late John J. Brunetti, a successful South Florida businessman and philanthropist, made a generous donation to the Academy that now proudly bears his name, enabling it to continue working as a premier institution for training and education about human trafficking.

Call 888-373-7888, a safe space to report tips, seek services, and ask for help, 
the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Today, the Academy continues its legacy as a trailblazing leader in viewing trafficking as a gross violation of human rights and an affront to human dignity. Its interdisciplinary approach to human trafficking includes considering solutions that go beyond the justice system. The focus of the Academy’s curriculum is human trafficking as a crime and a social phenomenon, deeply ingrained in the culture of countries of origin, transit, and destination.

Each year, the Academy develops a robust curriculum delivered in ex cathedra style and through interactive working groups, all taught and facilitated by leading experts who provide innovative perspectives, insights, and a wealth of experience and knowledge with participants.

 The Academy focuses on reading the signs of the times and in empowering men and women of goodwill to renew their commitment to improving human conditions and reducing the vulnerability that makes people susceptible to human trafficking worldwide. By way of example, focus has been put on the issue of migration, particularly the refugee and migration crisis and the related increases in criminal activities, including human trafficking and smuggling. Organized criminal activity is on the rise, and its modus operandi is beyond ruthless. The Academy has influenced law- and policy-makers internationally as well. Every year, the Academy, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and the Global Ties Miami, hosts delegations of international government officials and professionals from every continent to highlight 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.

For more information and to learn how you can be a part of the solution to eradicating this scourge to humanity, please visit

For more information, contact The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy, St. Thomas University College of Law, 16401 NW 37 Ave., Miami Gardens, FL 33054. 305-623-2320, [email protected].

Dawn Carr is a high-powered national and international consultant to charitable and human rights organizations, multinational corporations, and governments and has worked with notable personages in the entertainment industry, arts, and health and wellness.

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