Commissioner for Human Rights

Budget of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights - questions and answers

Tagi: budżet


What was the size of CHR budget in 2015?

38 602 000. We filed for increase in 2016 budget by 18 percent – to 45 566 000. However, Sejm decided to reduce it by 10 million. It means that the budget will be reduced to its size of 2011, despite scope of tasks of CHR being significantly extended and assigning CHR a role of the administrator of a building belonging to State Treasury at ul. Długa in Warsaw.

Why did the Commissioner for Human Rights apply for increase in budget size?

1. Due to the need for renovation of the seat in the old tenement house at ul. Długa. State Labour Inspection raised serious concerns and ordered specific repairs in connection with hazards related to work safety and fire protection. Elements requiring replacement include, among others, broken ventilation; leaking windows; outdated electrical installation; guard rails at the stairs. This multi-story building requires also mounting of lift for persons with disability (employees and guests). Inspection ordered also replacement of poor lighting in the building at Al. Solidarności.
2. Since 2008 wages of CHR Office have not been raised. Lack of systematic rises means in fact decrease in real wages of the employees.
3. Number of tasks assigned to CHR grew significantly in recent years (among others, controls under the National Prevention Mechanism, monitoring of implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability, performance of tasks related to implementation of principles of equal treatment). At the same time, large number of cases is being received (in 2015 there was more than 57 000 of them). All these issues affect personnel problems of the office, which strives to complete its mission at any cost and not to reduce quality of services for the benefit of the citizens. These are the reasons for the need to create new work places and improve staffing situation of the two currently most important institutions (KMP Team and Criminal Law Team handling, among others, cassations).

How many applications for judgements cassations have been submitted by the citizens to CHR?

In the previous year nearly 3 000 applications were submitted. They are handled by a specialized group of employees of Criminal Law Team composed of 7 persons. Applications of this type require particularly time-consuming analysis of the court files and are subjected to strictly timely procedure. Each reinforcement of a team is in favour of the citizens for which judgement cassation is often "the last resort".

Why did CHR file for employees wages rise?

Owing to afore-mentioned decrease in real wages and related resignation of many highly-qualified employees. It is supposed to halt this tendency, all the more so the Office puts a lot of effort into support for professional development of employees, training and raising qualifications.

Why does CHR need National Prevention Mechanism reinforcement?

In Poland there are ca. 1800 places of deprivation of liberty, among others: social aid homes, psychiatric hospitals, youth educational centres, Police minors detention centres, prisons. Controlling of application of the rights of persons deprived of their liberty is a result of international obligations of our country. Currently, the Commissioner for Human Rights is able to control only 120 places of detention annually. Therefore, statistically, one institution can be controlled every 18 years. Therefore, we do not meet binding international standards and CHR tries to gradually change this situation.


Will the CHR Office be able to perform its functions given such budget reduction?

CHR Office will in any conditions try to undertake its mission of serving the citizens and maintaining the level of services provided for their benefit. However, significant reduction in budget results in risks with difficult to predict consequences. For instance: how many lawyers will leave the Office? What will be the effects of lack of renovations commissioned by the National Labour Inspectorate?


Why financial independence is so important for institutions such as Commissioner for Human Rights?

According to the international standards, national human rights protection institutions must be independent and operational – financial independence is one of the measures of these conditions. Otherwise, rights of the citizens that should be guaranteed by CHR may remain illusory.
As regards international law, for national institutions of human rights protection the so-called Paris Principles approved on 29 December 1993 with the resolution of General Assembly of UN (no. 48/134) are kind of a constitution. They indicate minimum standards that must be observed in order to make institutions such as CHR independent and impartial. They emphasize, among others, the need to ensure broad mandate to act, independence from the executive, adequate measures and rights for operation.