Global Migration Lecture Series
Human trafficking and the fallacy of human rights violations
3 QUESTIONS TO RYszard Piotrowicz
Last 26 of October we had the pleasure of welcoming Ryszard Piotrowicz, Professor of Law, Aberystwyth University; Vice-President of GRETA –Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings to our Global Migration Centre Lecture Series.
We took the opportunity of his conference to exchange with him about his work and future endeavors:
What brought you to the subject of Human Trafficking?
I had been working on refugee law while living in Australia. I returned to the UK around 20 years ago, and wanted to move in a new direction but still in migration law. I was chatting to someone at a conference in London, and he mentioned the recent adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol on Trafficking. I started looking into it, and got hooked.
What is the Central or key idea of your lecture/thesis?
The essential point is that it is legally incorrect to consider human trafficking to be a violation of human rights, because human rights are duties owed by states. Human trafficking is a crime committed usually by private individuals, a private criminal enterprise. The State is not to blame. However, there is a human rights dimension: states violate their obligation to protect people from being trafficked if they do not have in place appropriate measures of protection and support, or if they do not grant asylum to persons who might be at risk of being trafficked in their home state.
What are your future projects?
I am writing a book on the law on human trafficking in Europe, looking at international law and European law. I also would like to continue working with international organisations in their anti-human trafficking activities, including the protection and support of victims of human trafficking.
The recording of the online event, entitled; Human Trafficking, the fallacy of Human Rights Violations, is now available below where you can also download the conference notes and references