Aberystwyth Law professor elected Vice President of European human rights body

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz

01 April 2019

A migration law and human trafficking expert at Aberystwyth University has been re-elected to a senior position with one of Europe’s most important human rights bodies.

Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz from the Department of Law and Criminology has been elected Vice President of GRETA, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings which is based in Strasbourg.

The group’s mandate is to assess how European countries comply with their obligations to protect people from being trafficked for sexual and labour exploitation, as well to evaluate the measures that countries take to catch and prosecute the traffickers.

Professor Piotrowicz was first elected onto GRETA in 2012, before being elected Vice President in 2017.  He will now serve as Vice President for a further two year term.

Commenting on his re-election, Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz said: “I am delighted to have been elected by my GRETA colleagues to serve as Vice President for a second term.  I have been a member of GRETA for nearly seven years now, and during this time I have visited many countries to assess the effectiveness of their anti-trafficking laws and policies, including Germany, Greece, Denmark, Malta, Kosovo, Macedonia, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.  In my capacity as Vice-President I am actively engaged in directing the activities and priorities of the Group, with the aim of achieving the best protection possible against human trafficking into, and within, Europe.”  

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.

Awarded a chair in law at Aberystwyth in 1999, he 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.