In January and February, 2020, Dr. Roza Pati, Founder and Director of The John J. Brunetti Human Trafficking Academy, traveled to India to educate and train higher-level students and faculty, coming to Kerala from 40 law schools and colleges from all over India, on human rights and human trafficking. In her numerous presentations and lectures, Dr. Pati focused on academic leadership towards a culture of lawfulness, the value and meaning of the struggle against human trafficking, and the significance of one’s ability to challenge the cultural constructs that have destined certain groups to remain vulnerable and susceptible to human trafficking.
Efforts were particularly focused at The National University of Advanced Legal Studies in Kochi, Emakulam, Kerala, India (“NUALS”) and The Central University of Kerala School of Legal Studies (“CUK”) in Thiruvalla, Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India. In addition, Dr. Pati participated in discussions and roundtables with other faculty, from various law schools in Kerala, Karnataka, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, with whom there is an established relationship thanks to Dr. Pati’s prior lectures tour on human trafficking in the region in 2015. Dr. Pati’s activities included inter alia, a Certificate Program in Human Trafficking Law and Policy in International and Domestic Legal Framework at The National University of Advanced Legal Studies; the Barrister M. K. Nambyar Law Lecture 2020, a named lecture before legal professionals and the Kerala Bar members, on Rights and Their Limits in Comparative Jurisprudence; Keynote Address The Unmet Challenge: Women’s Rights on the Eve of Beijing+25 at the two-day International Seminar on Realization of Human Rights of Women: Changing Dimensions, Challenges and Recourse; Keynote Address Neoliberalism and Human Rights at the International Interdisciplinary Seminar on State, Civil Society and Human Rights: Neoliberal Reflections, organized by the Central University of Kerala School of Legal Studies; as well as daily lectures and discussions with students and faculty from various parts of the country.
“An objective of this work was to train students and interested faculty who focus on research on local dimensions of human trafficking. These initiatives are novel in these schools, as there is little to none done so far on this subject matter. This valuable cooperation between St. Thomas University School of Law and Indian universities will lead to significant advancement in the curriculum of law schools, and other colleges to incorporate so much needed international standards of the protections of human rights, including prohibition of modern slavery. The Indian counterparts welcomed the cooperation, and we have already started planning more certificate programs, symposia, conferences and publications on human rights, human trafficking law, policy and practice. India, the world’s largest democracy, is an amazing country with a rich, multi-religious culture and extraordinary people, and it is but natural that our Academy, located in the world’s greatest democracy, the U.S.A., expands this cooperation with the legal academy as well as the civil society. Indian students are some of the most perceptive and intelligent students I have had the honor to teach, and I look forward to many more encounters with them.” said Dr. Pati, reflecting on her visit to India.
The Academy looks forward to further fruitful cooperation with academic institutions in India as it strives to exchange thoughts and ideas with India’s future leaders against human trafficking and assist in empowering faculty to disseminate this knowledge throughout the country.