Aberystwyth Law professor re-elected to European human rights body

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

08 November 2016

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz of Aberystwyth Law School has been re-elected to GRETA, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

Professor Piotrowicz was elected last Friday, 4 November, as the British candidate to the 15-member body.  Forty-five countries took part in the election in Strasbourg.

GRETA is one of the major human rights bodies of the Council of Europe. It monitors how countries meet their obligations to protect the rights of trafficked people as well as their efforts to prosecute people traffickers.

Professor Piotrowicz will serve a second four-year term, which will include visiting countries throughout Europe to assess their performance in anti-trafficking functions.

In this function his work can have a real and positive impact by contributing to law and policy reform on human trafficking and, most importantly, helping victims of modern day slavery, which has been a major priority of the British government in recent years.

Individuals nominated to become members of GRETA must be known for their recognised competence in the fields of human rights, assistance and protection of victims and action against trafficking in human beings, or have professional experience in the areas covered by the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.  

Commenting on his nomination, Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz said: “I am delighted to have been elected to serve a second term on GRETA. My work in Strasbourg in the last four years has enabled me to have a real impact on the way the law protects victims of human trafficking, who have been subjected often to extreme violence and suffering by their traffickers.”

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

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.  He is a member of the Wales Anti-Slavery Leadership Group and was a member of the European Commission’s Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings from 2008-15.

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.