AN Aberystwyth professor has been appointed as a special advisor to a government committee set up to tackle human trafficking.
Migration law and human trafficking expert, Professor Ryszard Piotrowicz, has been appointed as specialist advisor to the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, to assist with its inquiry into human trafficking.
The Home Affairs Committee is a cross-party committee of MPs responsible for scrutinising the work of the Home Office and its associated bodies.
In February 2023, the Committee announced a new inquiry into human trafficking, to assess the scale of human trafficking in the UK and the forms it takes.
The inquiry will also investigate whether Government policy, legislation and the criminal justice system can be improved to better prevent trafficking, prosecute perpetrators and protect victims.
As specialist advisor, Professor Piotrowicz will comment on submissions made to the Committee, comment and advise on drafts of possible documents or statements to be published by the Committee, and use his expertise on human trafficking to advise the Committee on the general lines of its inquiries into human trafficking in the UK.
Commenting on his appointment, Professor Piotrowicz said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this position, because it will enable me to use my expertise to have, I hope, a positive influence on the development of government policy in supporting victims of modern slavery and prosecuting the traffickers.”
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, a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales 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, was a member of the European Commission’s Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings from 2008-15, and a member of GRETA, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, from 2013-2020 (Vice-President 2017-20).
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), the Council of Europe, and the EU.