Here in Poland, we are headed into a period of darkness when it comes to legal guarantees, the role of the constitution and the sanctity of EU treaties. Hope is slowly vanishing. We can only hope that — being deprived of institutional guarantees of independence — individual judges will be strong enough to safeguard their own independence in their judicial decision-making.
European politicians must look beyond the next month or year. Everything possible must be done in order to save the independence of Poland’s Supreme Court.
The Commissioner for Human Rights and German Institute for Human Rights organized the joint workshop on protection of human rights of older persons which will take place on 7th March, in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Warsaw.
The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland plays the role of both the national human rights institution (NHRI) and the equality body. It works extensively on the issues of equal treatment, anti-discrimination, and combating all kind of violence also against older persons.
It is necessary to change the legislation and practice concerning people with mental or intellectual disabilities who take part in criminal proceedings. Otherwise, the rights of such persons, their human rights, will be seriously endangered in our country - said Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar while presenting a report on a two-year survey conducted by the CHR Office experts. In that period they examined over 100 cases of persons with a mental illness or intellectual disability.
The Congress, which was held in December 2017, gathered over 1500 participants in 37 panels co-organized by non-governmental institutions.
Specific Congress recommendations relate to education and civic empowerment, the rights of citizens in their contacts with the judicial system, healthcare, work, home and the position of Poland in Europe.
The Congress, organized by the Commissioner for Human Rights to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the institution of independent ombudsman in Poland, was held on 8-9 December in Warsaw. It consisted of 36 panels on key topics relating to human rights.
The Parliamentary Committee on Justice issued a negative opinion on the CHR’s draft budget for 2018. The ruling coalition MPs attacked the CHR for being focused “on pathological groups" . On the following day, the Parliamentary Committee on Petitions refused to issue its opinion on the petition to dismiss the CHR due to his reply to a TVP reporter’s question as to whether the Holocaust was a solely German crime.
The Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that the regulations which allow so-called eviction to the street of persons living in uniformed service members’ apartments are inconsistent with the Constitution. The ruling is the CHR’s major success in the fight for strengthening the protection of the rights of tenants.
Societies and states, granting themselves the right to sentence people to death, undermine the foundation of human rights: the inalienable dignity of the individual. The consequence of this inevitable dignity is the unconditional right to exist, pointed out Halina Bortnowska, President of the Council of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and the initiator of the Polish celebrations of the World Day Against the Death Penalty. On the occasion of the Day, in the CHR Office a conference was held with the participation of scientists and representatives of non-governmental organizations.
I have the honour to present the report on the activity of the Commissioner for Human Rights and on the status of the observance of human and civil rights and freedoms in 2016.
The report is a long document; it has nearly one thousand pages. It covers, however, over 50 thousand cases of people who turned to the Commissioner in the belief that the state and public institutions violated their rights.
The task of the Commissioner is to check, to answer and to help people.