Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 21-27 November 2017

Newsletter  21-27 November 2017


The Commissioner on the draft amendments to the electoral law

The proposed thorough changes in the electoral administration raise my serious concern. I consider them not only unjustified, but also dangerous for fair and reliable holding of elections and referenda, as well as the protection of citizens’ electoral rights, wrote CHR Adam Bodnar in his opinion statement on the proposed amendments to the electoral law, addressed to the Speaker of the Sejm. The Commissioner pointed out, among others, that the amendments lead to politicization of the National Electoral Commission. This, in turn, may cause a real threat to the professionalism, impartiality and non-political nature of lower-level electoral authorities and administrations, and may limit the principle of general nature of elections, e.g. by removing voting facilitations for seniors and persons with disabilities [CHR’s detailed opinion, and a video with Jarosław Zbieranek, PhD, CHR Office representative, speaking about potential risks related to the proposed amendments].

16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women

Please allow us to express our respect and gratitude for your decision to donate your financial award to the Centre for Women's Rights which provides care to victims of violence, wrote Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar and Deputy CHR Sylwia Spurek in a letter to Kacper Kuszewski, an actor who won 100 thousand zł in the TV show Your Face Sounds Familiar. On 22 November, Sylwia Spurek met with the actor to discuss the campaign 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women [more].

The action’s symbol is men wearing a white ribbon as a declaration they would never act violently towards women and would not accept such violence or remain silent about it. Adam Bodnar wrote about this symbol of solidarity with women in his commentary for Wirtualna Polska.

One of the elements of the action is wearing white ribbon by men. In this way, they declare that they themselves will not be the perpetrators of violence, but also will not accept or be silent about violence against women. The spokesman Adam Bodnar wrote about this gesture of solidarity with women in the commentary for Wirtualna Polska [more]. The campaign lasted until December 10 [more].

The CHR writes to CBOS Centre for Public Opinion Research: I’m not a politician

In connection with the publication of the results of the poll entitled Trusted politicians: November 2017, Adam Bodnar wrote a letter to CBOS Foundation director Mirosława Grabowska. He stated he was surprised to find his name among the names of persons professionally engaged in politics [more].


How to solve the problem of the construction of odour-generating facilities in the vicinity of people’s homes? Representatives of non-governmental organizations discussed their problems with the CHR [more].  In the meeting, the judgment of the Regional Administrative Court in Poznań was also discussed. After the Commissioner’s intervention, the court annulled decisions permitting the construction, in the vicinity of the town of Września, of animal farms causing odour nuisance for residents [more].

Everyone has the right to independent living: about the need to adopt the National Programme of Departing from Institutionalized Support  

The Commissioner, together with 54 social organizations, submitted to the Prime Minister an appeal regarding the need to depart from the institutionalized system of support provision to persons with disabilities and the elderly. [more].

The CHR on recruitment by universities of high school graduates whose examination papers have been incorrectly assessed by examination boards [more].

Is it possible to challenge a decision refusing admission to a postgraduate course? The CHR’s regional representative in Katowice is looking into the issue [more].

The Commissioer about the march on the occasion of the Independence Day in Wrocław [more].


The issue of mortgage loans denominated in Swiss francs

A small success of the action entitled Do you have a problem with a loan in Swiss francs? Find out what you can do: thanks to the intervention of the Financial Ombudsman, one of the cases was amicably solved. In order to maintain positive relations with the customer, the bank discontinued charging a fee for a foreign currency account used to repay the loan [more].

Another meeting within the action of the CHR and the Financial Ombudsman will be held on 5 December in Olsztyn [details, registration form and interactive guidebook].

Limitations concerning agricultural land purchase, and mining and geological laws [more].


Adam Bodnar about social inequalities on the Youth Speak Forum [more].

Deputy CHR Hanna Machińska at an international conference in Uzbekistan [more].

Meeting with a delegation from Georgia [more].

About the Constitution during the Congress of Klub Jagielloński [more]