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Home >> Members >> Members’ Publications >> Summary of the report on the activity of the Ombudsman in Poland

Summary of the report on the activity of the Ombudsman in Poland

September 16th 2016

In July 2016 the Polish Ombudsman (Commissioner for Human Rights) published its Activity Report for 2015, focusing on the most important matters in the fields of constitutional and international law, criminal law, labour law, social security and uniformed services, civil law, administrative and economic law and the principle of equal treatment and combating discrimination.

Discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic origin or nationality

The report flags the increasing hatred against migrants in Poland, which is often expressed in public demonstrations. In that regard the Commissioner raised the concern that discriminatory statements can often not be considered within the limits of free speech anymore, and calls upon public authorities to react to any form of discriminatory offences in a swiftly and adequate manner.
Furthermore, the Commissioner pointed out that discriminatory practices against the Roma community continue.

Discrimination on the grounds of religion, faith or worldview

One main concern the Commissioner pointed out is that the access to religious lessons for minority religions and ethics classes is often not guaranteed for pupils. Children who need to take these classes outside the educational system are put in a especially disadvantaged position, because the marks for these classes are not included in their official school records.
Other discriminatory practices were observed against people staying in penal institutions and pre-trial detention, when certain religious food practices were not taken into account.

Discrimination on the grounds of sex

The Commissioner notes with concern the amount of gender-based violence and domestic violence faced by women in Poland.

Discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and sexual identity

The high amount of cases of discrimination motivated by prejudices is calling for greater efforts to detect, prosecute and penalise in the Commissioners view.

Discrimination on the grounds of age and disability

In its report, the Commissioner pointed out that persons with disabilities are not only hindered by accessibility barriers to actively participate in society, but also from the attitudes of society in general.

Concrete actions taken by the Commissioner for Human Rights to tackle these challenges can be found here!