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Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 3 - 12 September 2016

Newsletter 3 - 12 September 2016

MAIN MATTERS

Summary of work of the CHR

On 5 September, Dr Adam Bodnar presented to the Sejm the information about the CHR’s work in 2015 and about the state of observance of the rights and freedoms of man and citizen in the country [more]. In September, Dr Bodnar has been in office for one year. On this occasion, he met with representatives of non-governmental organizations which supported his nomination to the office. [more].

The results of the Commissioner’s work to-date are described in the interactive brochure available also as a pdf file and translated into the sign language for the deaf.

The visit of the Venice Commission

Issues related to the operation of the Constitutional Tribunal were discussed in a meeting of the Commissioner for Human Rights with the representatives of the Venice Commission [more].

The CHR’s regional meetings in the Lubelskie voivodeship

This month Dr Adam Bodnar will meet with residents of the Lubelskie voivodeship in: Pilawa, Opole Lubelskie, Kraśnik, Zamość, Chełm and Lublin [programme and venues of the meetings].

THE COMMISSIONER ON CITIZENS’ ISSUES

A court’s judgement without a hearing - a cassation appeal by the CHR

Mr T. was sentenced in a court session without a hearing, as he had not been properly notified of the hearing date, which in turn violated his right to defence. The Commissioner filed a cassation appeal in the case to the Supreme Court [more].

The CHR’s next visit in Opole

The recent results of talks of the municipal governments of the city of Opole and the neighbouring municipalities, and specific issues relating to the compensation for properties to be taken over by the city from the municipalities due to the change of municipal borders, were discussed by Dr Adam Bodnar during his subsequent visit to Opole [more].

Why does the Mayor of Sopot make journalists’ work difficult?

A journalist of TVP Gdańsk notified the Commissioner that Mr Jacek Karnowski, the mayor of Sopot had prohibited employees of Sopot municipal authorities to provide any information to him. The journalist complained that this approach makes it impossible for him to perform his professional work. The CHR has written a letter to the mayor of Sopot requesting explanations on the case [more].

Do children with disabilities have free access to schools?

The Commissioner will examine to what degree small towns in the Lower Silesia region ensure access of children with disabilities to education in elementary and junior schools. The CHR intervened after the media reports of a nine year old boy who could not find access to school in a wheelchair [more].

The committee on the alimony system has met again

The committee on the alimony system has met for the fourth time already. The experts discussed e.g. the idea of introducing the so-called alimony rate charts [more].

THE SOCIETY

The Commissioner’s intervention relating to working time of medical doctors

The Commissioner looks into the case of a female anaesthesiologist who died during her hospital duty [more]. The CHR exchanges correspondence on the case e.g. with the National Labour Inspectorate [more].

Do specific mobile applications sufficiently protect personal data?

Does the application "I'm close", whose purpose is to alert specialist personnel that an ill person in the vicinity needs help, sufficiently protect personal data? The Commissioner is looking into the matter after an inquiry from a citizen [more].

The Commissioner for Human Rights on the in vitro procedure

Krystyna Kozłowska has replied to the CHR’s inquiry relating to the discontinuation of the in vitro treatment refund programme financed by the state budget. She informed that a number of complaints regarding the issue have been received by the Office of the Patient Ombudsman [more].

LEGISLATION

How long do rape victims have to wait for a hearing?

Sometimes it takes as long as three months since the reporting of the crime until the hearing before the court. The Commissioner has applied to the Minister of Justice to take action to ensure more effective protection of the freedoms and rights of victims of sex crimes [more].

When may a patient get a refund of costs of medicines purchased abroad?

The Ministry of Health is planning to amend the law on reimbursement of medicines, to allow for the reimbursement of medicines purchased abroad. The Commissioner has requested the head of the Ministry to present a detailed schedule of legislative work carried out in this field [more].

Internal rules and regulations of penitentiary institutions have to be audited

The National Head of the Prison Service considers it necessary to issue a recommendation to the regional heads of the Prison Service to audit the consistency of the internal rules and regulations of penitentiary institutions with the binding legislation. The audit will be carried out as a result of an application by the Commissioner for Human Rights [more].

Can the rights to benefits under the ZUS social insurance system be determined faster?

Lengthy procedures of granting maternity benefits or sickness benefits for pregnant women remain a real problem. It happens that insured persons are left without any money to support themselves for the time until the end of the procedure determining the right to the benefit. The Commissioner has applied to the President of the ZUS social insurance institution to take action [more].

Mediation should be possible also after the court judgement

The Commissioner once again requested the Minister of Justice to take a legislative initiative to make it possible to use mediation at the stage of enforcement proceedings [more].

Why are courts not allowed to send e-mails?

The Commissioner has sent a letter to the Minister of Justice to point at the outdated system of delivery of court documents, which does not make use of the possibilities offered by the currently available modern technologies [more].

What types of petitions are received by the CHR?

A year has passed since the entry into force of the Act on Petitions. The rpo.gov.pl website presents issues covered by petitions submitted to the CHR.

THE CHRONICLE

Joanna Muszkowska-Penson and Olga Krzyżanowska awarded with the badge of honour „For contribution to the protection of human rights”

Dr Adam Bodnar awarded Joanna Muszkowska-Penson and Olga Krzyżanowska with the badge of honour „For contribution to the protection of human rights”. The ceremony was held at Europejskie Centrum Solidarności [the European Solidarity Centre] [more].

A seminar on the rights of persons with disabilities

The need for ratification by Poland of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was discussed by the participants of the seminar held in the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights [more].

Deputy CHR participated in the Economic Forum in Krynica

- Let us start to look at health from the perspective of human rights. The right to health is after all a right of every person - said Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights Dr Sylwia Spurek at the Economic Forum in Krynica [more].

About the rights of deaf persons

Dr Adam Bodnar took part in the conference "From the roots to the shoots", held as a subsequent event within the programme of conferences “Deaf persons have their voice”. The conference was organised by the Polish Institute of Sign Language for the Deaf [more]. The CHR Office has recently issued a publication on supporting families of deaf children in Poland .

Dr Sylwia Spurek at the Third Age Forum

The rights of senior persons and the campaign to disseminate knowledge about the work of the new UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons were presented by Dr Sylwia Spurek at the Third Age Forum in Nowy Sącz [more].

A visit to a General Middle School in Malbork

On 8 September Dr Adam Bodnar met with students of the Henryk Sienkiewicz 1st General Middle School in Malbork [more].

Human rights discussed at the picnic „Europe is changing Warsaw”

What rights do citizens have? What to do when our rights are violated? What are the rights of children? - These and other questions were answered by employees of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights during the picnic "Europe is changing Warsaw" which was held at Pole Mokotowskie [more].

What is traineeship at the CHR Office about?

The topic of access to public information was discussed by trainees from the CHR Office with representatives of Watchdog Poland [more].

The CHR Office representatives took part in the Warsaw celebrations of the canonization of Mother Teresa

Representatives of the Commissioner for Human Rights, Krzysztof Olkowicz and Andrzej Stefański took part in the Polish celebrations of the canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta [more].