Godło RP

Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 4 - 10 October 2016

Newsletter 4 - 10 October 2016


Protection of Poles in the UK

Joint measures to ensure better protection of the rights of Poles living in the UK were the main subject of the meeting of Commissioner for Human Rights Adam Bodnar with his British counterpart, David Isaac, head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The results of the CHR’s visit in London are described at rpo.gov.pl

How to solve problems relating to property reprivatisation?

Development of a clear system of compensations for persons who have suffered damage as a result of the post-war nationalization of property is of great importance, emphasized the CHR in a statement forwarded to Prime Minister Beata Szydło. The Commissioner also pointed at 7 important aspects that will contribute to solving the problem of reprivatisation [more]


What about the quality of hospital food? The Ministry of Health responds

Hospitals, under their contracts with the National Health Fund, are required to ensure to patients meals that are appropriate for their health condition, replied a representative of the Ministry of Health in response to the inquiry by the CHR relating to the quality of hospital meals [more].

Discounts for large families

The Commissioner has been contacted by a father of a large family, who was concerned about another increase in the fees for garbage collection. The CHR reminded the municipal authorities that the current regulations provide for discounts for large families. The Municipal Council confirmed its plans to increase the fees in 2017 [more].

Inheritance tax remission

Ms Katarzyna lost her right to tax remission because she did not inform the authorities, within the prescribed time-limit, about the fact that she inherited an apartment. Her failure to provide the information was caused by reasons beyond her control. The Regional Administrative Court shared the CHR’s opinion and pointed out that the authority which issued the decision on tax arrears should have taken into account the circumstances of the case [more].

Further efforts are required to facilitate reconciliation of family and professional roles

At the CHR Office, a meeting was held to discuss solutions to facilitate the reconciliation of family and professional roles. The Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy declared in the meeting that the Ministry would take steps to improve certain regulations with regard to the family policy [more].

The right to reimbursement of medicines

The CHR joined the proceeding before the Supreme Administrative Court concerning the refund of a drug for a child who suffers from congenital muscular dystrophy. According to the Commissioner, in the case in question it is necessary to follow the constitutional right to dignity and protection of life and health. The Court shared the opinion of the Commissioner [more].


What about the income tax threshold?

How will the Constitutional Court's judgment on the income tax threshold be enforced? The Ministry of Finance has informed the Commissioner for Human Rights that work is on-going on an amendment to the existing regulations [more].

Will the government take into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission regarding the Surveillance Act?

In connection with the opinion of the Venice Commission on the so-called Surveillance Act, the Commissioner for Human Rights has requested the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration to provide information on the activities carried out to-date, and to inform whether any changes in the system of supervision over the intelligence services are planned [more].

Fees for certificates of no criminal record

The Commissioner for Human Rights has requested the Minister of Justice to solve the problems relating e.g. to the fees for the so-called certificate of no criminal record [more].

Construction supervision authorities may examine the legality of any construction project

The construction supervision authorities may examine the legality of all construction projects or works in the case of which there is a possible risk of non-compliance with the building regulations, a risk to the safety of people or property or an environmental hazard, concludes the Supreme Administrative Court’s resolution adopted following an application by the CHR [more].

May a person with a disability hold the office of a rural municipality mayor?

The method of assessing the capacity to hold mayor’s office should not be based on the same criteria as the assessment of incapacity to work, but rather on a separate mechanism, as is the case of the assessment of the capacity to hold the position of a judge, noted the CHR in his request to the Chairman of the Special Committee on Codification Changes [more].

Parking fees

In the case a driver has paid a parking fee but has not placed the receipt behind the windscreen, may he/she s be fined for non-payment of the fee? The Regional Administrative Court in Warsaw has examined the matter. However, the Commissioner’s complaint challenging the provisions of the Radom City Council’s resolution determining the parking zones and fees has been rejected [more].

Property owners should have a real possibility to challenge decisions on expropriation

What is the time-limit for expropriated owners for challenging the so-called integrated decisions issued under the Special Act on Roads? The Commissioner has addressed the question of law to the Supreme Administrative Court [more].

The Polish Association of Allotment Garden Holders responds to the CHR’s questions

The Commissioner for Human Rights, in his letter to the President of the Polish Association of Allotment Garden Holders, expressed doubts regarding the provisions of the Association’s Statutes as well as their application. The Commissioner has recently received a response [more].


Inspection of the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine

The CHR Office was informed of a large group of foreigners intending to seek international protection and attempting, for a long time yet without success, to enter the territory of Poland. In connection with the information, representatives of the Office of the Commissioner conducted an unannounced inspection of the border crossing between Poland and Ukraine in Medyka [more].

On the rights of entrepreneurs and taxation

Adam Bodnar and representatives of the CHR Office attended the fifth edition of the European Congress of Small and Medium Enterprises in Katowice [more]. The Commissioner presented e.g. a guidebook on taxpayers’ rights [more].

The World Mental Health Day

- I would like to emphasize that persons affected by mental health problems are equal members of our society. Such persons deserve respect, and actions undermining their position in the society have to be considered as a violation of human rights, wrote the Commissioner in his statement on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day [more].

The Committee on the Rights of Senior Citizens has accepted the CHR’s information on the rights of seniors

- The protection of the rights of senior persons is one of our key priorities, said the CHR at the meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on the Rights of Senior Citizens. The Commissioner gave to the MPs - members of the Committee a presentation on the rights and equal treatment of elderly persons and the prevention of their discrimination based on age [more].

Adam Bodnar at the Culture Congress

The Commissioner took part in the panel discussion "Cultural institutions without violence" held during the Civic Culture Congress. He pointed out, among others, at the key constitutional values which should be particularly important for the representatives of the world of culture [more].

The World Day of Cerebral Palsy

The 5th of October is the World Day of Cerebral Palsy. On that occasion, Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights Sylwia Spurek together with Krzysztof Kurowski of the Office of the CHR visited a training apartment for persons with disabilities who require support [more]. On that day, the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights had a green illumination which symbolized solidarity with persons with cerebral palsy [more].

Wanda Wojtuszewska awarded a badge of honour for her contribution to the protection of human rights

Ms Wojtuszewska, a long-term president of the Brother Albert Society in the city of Sanok and the founder of the Father Gorazdowski Association for Support to Families, was awarded the CHR badge of honour for her contribution to the protection of human rights [more].

The CHR’s visit in Sanok

"Human rights locally" was the title of the debate held at the State Higher Vocational School in Sanok. Adam Bodnar discussed the problems of the local community with the school’s students and volunteers [more]. During his visit to Sanok, the Commissioner also visited the Ulma Family Museum of Poles who saved Jews during World War II, in the village of Markowa [more].

The Ambassador of Finland visited the CHR Office

Issues relating to the protection of human rights in Europe were the main subject of Adam Bodnar’s meeting with H.E. Hanna Lehtinen, the Ambassador of Finland to Poland.

The Social Council fully supports the actions taken by the CHR

The Social Council operating under the auspices of the Commissioner for Human Rights has adopted a resolution expressing support to the actions taken by the Commissioner [more].