Addressing the problem of human trafficking

Research on migration law shapes international policy and legislation

According to the U.S state department, 600,000-800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year, with at least 20% worldwide being children.

The work of Professor Piotrowicz, based at Aberystwyth University, addresses the problem of human trafficking by outlining the human rights obligations of states towards people at risk of being trafficked. His work has already influenced the guidelines published by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) which has affected the way in which states deal with those at risk of being trafficked.

An article in Intercultural Human Rights Law Review, authored by Piotrowicz, analyses the legal nature of trafficking and demonstrates that it is primarily a criminal act with a human rights dimension. He was appointed as an advisor to the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe) concerned with the issue of non-punishment for trafficking victims. This resulted in the publication of a major guide for prosecutors and judges on the matter.

Piotrowicz has also influenced legislation and policy on trafficking in the EU through his participation in the European Commission’s Group of Experts. This will directly affect the treatment of victims of trafficking by states.

"[Ryszard Piotrowicz] contributed profoundly to the work and discussions of the Group with his legal expertise"

Dr Baerbel Uhl, Chairperson of the European Commission’s Group of Experts


Research Aims

  • To influence policy on human trafficking  
  • To have a direct impact on court guidelines
  • Inform and generate impact among policy-makers and officials 
  • Contribute to the development of law and policy
  • Raise awareness and understanding of human trafficking nationally and globally


Useful Links

Ryszard Piotrowicz - Staff Profile

Aberystwyth University News - Human Trafficking



Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz
Law & Criminology
Aberystwyth University | +44 (0)1970 62 1657