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St. Thomas University Professor Appointed To Vatican's Pontifical Council Of Justice And Peace

MIAMI, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Thomas University (www.stu.edu) is once again recognized at a global level for its faculty leadership in the intercultural human rights arena. Professor Roza Pati has just been appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.  The Council, a Vatican body dedicated to the promotion of social justice, has as its main goal advocating peace and justice around the world consistent with the Gospel and the Church's social teaching.  "This is a significant appointment and a recognition of the global impact Professor Pati has had through her writings and her speeches around the world on human rights issues such as human trafficking, a recognition of her status as a leader in global human rights," said School of Law Dean Douglas Ray. 

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Professor Pati, who was born in Albania, was a member of parliament there and served in the cabinet as Secretary of State for youth and women. A public servant and a scholar, Professor Pati teaches at St. Thomas University Law School and serves as Executive Director of the Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights, and Director of the Human Trafficking Academy. "I am extremely proud of Professor Pati," said St. Thomas University President Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale. "She has demonstrated to be a leader in so many areas of social justice."

Amongst many contributions, Dr. Pati facilitated The Miami Declaration of Principles on Human Trafficking, a consensus formulation of policies drawn up by global experts at St. Thomas University on February 10, 2005 and designed to combat human trafficking from a victim-oriented perspective. "Our Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights has become a major center of research in the advancement of legal thought," said Monsignor Casale. "We will continue to address the global affront against human dignity that human trafficking and other forms of injustice represent. In this quest for the protection of the dignity of the human person we point out clearly that we are all members of a single community: humankind, and we turn the tide of this battle towards the rule of law, peace, justice and dialogue amongst religions, cultures and civilizations, races and ethnicities," he added.

Co-sponsored by the Embassy of the United States of America to the Holy See, St. Thomas University hosted an international forum on human trafficking in Rome, May 2011 -  "Building Bridges of Freedom: Public-Private Partnerships to End Modern Day Slavery." US Ambassador to the Holy See, a St. Thomas University alumnus – Miguel Humberto Diaz- initiated the Conference, which discussed the role of both public and private sectors, faith-based organizations, corporations and civil society. Professor Roza Pati was instrumental in organizing this global forum and Monsignor Casale delivered the closing address.

The Rome Conference brought together a broad spectrum of participants in the fight for eradicating human trafficking. In his closing remarks, Monsignor Casale added: "As institutions of higher learning, advocates, governments, government officials, corporations, we need to invest in the business of the struggle against modern-day slavery. Some of us readily invest in new technology, risky stock portfolios, and innovative business concepts; let us now invest in ourselves, and our neighbors – in promoting the dignity of the human person. Our University Academy on Human Trafficking's role is crucial. Within the United States, and on international levels, institutions of higher learning serve as incubators, think tanks, research institutions, and clinics for faculty, students, and neighboring communities.  Academic institutions serve as the initial learning and informational portals on topical issues and partnerships can exist in a number of venues and cross-disciplines within academia.  Accordingly, since modern-day slavery is one of the human rights concerns of our day, higher education institutions have and must continue to develop curricula and modules focused on educating their students on the roots, causes, and solutions."  

St. Thomas University has been a pioneer in the struggle for an order of human dignity. Professor Pati, in this new role as an active member of the Pontifical Council, will identify "the signs of the times," and contribute to developing solutions benefitting humans born in the image of God. She will continue to foster global dialogues to promote justice, indispensable to the attainment of true world peace. A curriculum vitae from Dr. Pati can be made available and media interviews arranged by contacting Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Marivi Prado, [email protected].

SOURCE St. Thomas University

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