Human trafficking election

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

15 November 2012

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz of the Department of Law and Criminology at Aberystwyth University has been elected to the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

Professor Piotrowicz was nominated for the post by the UK Government and his election follows two days of voting in Strasbourg on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

He is one of thirteen candidates from across Europe to have been elected and will serve on the Group four years.

The Group has fifteen members and is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Council of Europe Anti-Trafficking Convention.

37 European countries have signed up to the convention, including the UK.

They will be monitored for compliance with international laws aimed at combating human trafficking by assessing the effectiveness of national anti-trafficking laws and holding consultations and discussions with major stakeholders, including governments, police, non-governmental organisations and individuals who have themselves been trafficked.

The Group will report annually on the level of compliance with the Convention and can make proposals for action to be taken.

Speaking after his election, Professor Piotrowicz said: “I am very pleased to have been nominated by the UK government and elected to GRETA.”

“The work will give me an opportunity to use, in a very practical way, the expertise I have gained on human trafficking because I will be able to have some input into the development of law and policy on trafficking. It’s a very effective way to relate my academic work, hopefully for some positive benefit, to the world beyond the University”, he added.

Originally from Scotland, Professor Piotrowicz studied at the Universities of Dundee, Glasgow, Thessaloniki and Warsaw, as well as the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw and the Max-Planck-Institute for International Law in Heidelberg.

After being awarded his PhD in 1987, he took up a lectureship in law at the University of Tasmania, where he spent ten years and was latterly the Dean of the Law Faculty.

He took up a chair in law at Aberystwyth in 1999 and has also taught international law at the Universities of Glasgow, and Durham. He is an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow and has been a visiting professor of international law in several countries.

A specialist in migration law and international humanitarian law, he is currently working mostly on legal issues arising out of trafficking in human beings.

He has advised international organisations, national governments and non-governmental organisations on these matters and has been a member of the European Commission’s Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings since 2008.

Professor Piotrowicz has worked extensively with international organisations, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the EU.