Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 19-25 November 2018


2nd CONGRESS ON HUMAN RIGHTS The Commissioner for Human Rights is inviting all those interested to the 2nd Congress on Human Rights to be held on 14-15 December 2018. The registration is already open. An informal report on the implementation of the recommendations of the first edition of the Congress, held last year, has also been published. (CONGRESS WEBSITE) (REGISTRATION PAGE) (REPORT)

I am speaking here one year after the moving events and debates in defence of the Supreme Court. And today, the first president of the Court can say that she is still holding the position. This is the foundation of defending citizens’ rights, said CHR Adam Bodnar concluding his speech in the Senate. He presented to the Senate the CHR’s information on the state of observance of human rights in Poland in 2017. (speech delivered on 23 November)

The CHR spoke before the LIBE Committee of the European Parliament with regard to the public hearing of Poland. (English version of the speech)

WOMEN’S RIGHTS. A conference entitled Unfinished emancipation? 100 years of women's electoral rights was held. During the event, research results were presented showing that today, Poles on the one hand have more conservative ideas about the role of women in the world of politics than they did eight years ago, but on the other hand they are in favour of strengthening the role of women. (more)

SECOND EXTRAORDINARY COMPLAINT OF THE CHR. That CHR filed his second extraordinary complaint to the Supreme Court. This time it concerns avoiding a situation in which an adopted child would inherit debts after its deceased biological father. (more)

RETIREMENT PENSIONS. In Poland, the lowest retirement pension is allocated to people who file their application documents in June. This results from the method used by the ZUS Social Insurance Institution to valorise people’s pension scheme contributions. The Commissioner inquired the Minister for Family about the ministry's actions that had been announced in this matter. (more)

TAX RELIEF RELATING TO PERMANENT RESIDENCE REGISTRATION: People filing complaints with courts against decisions of tax offices, regarding tax relief relating to permanent residence registration, have achieved a change in the position of the Ministry of Finance. The complainants were supported by the CHR. (more)

MUNICIPAL HOUSING. A person who has twice refused to use a municipal flat indicated by the municipality is deleted from the waiting list. This is a regulation on municipal or social flats allocation in the towns of Skarżysko-Kamienna and Jaworzno. The CHR challenged the regulations before competent administrative courts. (more)

GOSTYNIN. The Commissioner drafted a paper comparing centres for placing people who pose a threat to others, that exist in in Germany and in Poland. The problems with such persons exist also in other countries but they can be solved in a better way, maintaining the dignity of those people. (more)

RULES OF LAW-MAKING. The government drafts amendments to various laws without following the rules that protect citizens against unintentional errors and unplanned effects of the new regulations, concluded an audit of the Supreme Audit Office. The CHR wrote to Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki with regard to the issue. (more)

MEDIA. Wojciech Reszczyński did not react when a guest of his radio programme on Channel 3 used an offensive phrase in relation to Władysław Bartoszewski. The Commissioner asked the president of the Polish Radio to indicate what actions are taken to prevent such statements. (more)

CASSATION APPEAL. Jehovah's Witnesses were not a "secret association" under the former system of state in Poland. Seven persons on whom penalties were imposed in the 1970s have been acquitted by the Supreme Court at the request of the Commissioner. (more)

SUPREME ADMINISTRATIVE COURT: a cassation appeal against refusal to grant the refugee status to a citizen of Iraq – has been considered partly justified. (more)

Allowances for foster families are due since the day on which the child is taken by the family. A positive decision of the Provincial Appeal Body has been issued after the Commissioner's complaint. (more)

The CHR: regulations on prisoners' testing for the presence of narcotic drugs need to be amended. (more)

The Commissioner inquired the Minister of Justice about implementing regulations on free-of-charge legal aid. (more)


Sister Małgorzata Chmielewska, Ewa Kulik-Bielińska AND Katarzyna Przybysławska received the Paweł Włodkowic prize awarded by the CHR. (more)

Late Piotr Pawłowski was awarded Dr Maciej Lis prize for 2018, granted by the CHR. The prize was also awarded to Stowarzyszenie Przyjaciół Integracji [Association of Integration Supporters] and to Fundacja Integracja [Foundation for Integration] that have been established by the laureate. (more)