Marcin Wiącek spoke with the UN Special Rapporteur about the rights of migrants and refugees in Poland
On 12 July 2022, Commissioner for Human Rights Marcin Wiącek met with Felipe González Morales, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. The Commissioner was accompanied by Agnieszka Szmajdzińska, Head of the Department for Rights of Migrants and National Minorities, Marcin Kusy, Deputy Director of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture and Maciej Grześkowiak, Chief Coordinator for Scientific Cooperation.
The discussion concerned the situation of foreign migrants and refugees in Poland. The CHR presented the activities taken by the CHR Office with regard to protecting the rights of such persons. He pointed, in particular, to the challenges arising from the reception by Poland of a huge number of war refugees from Ukraine, and the related need to provide them with accommodation places and access to services such as health care and education. The CHR also highlighted the challenge of access for the war refugees to adequate quality accommodation.
Marcin Wiącek also informed his guest about the difficulties which are faced by Ukrainians whose stay in Poland is regulated by the Act of 12 March 2022 on assistance to Ukrainian citizens in connection with armed conflict on the territory of Ukraine, and which relate to non-issuance to them of documents confirming the legality of their stay in Poland. As a result, the right of Ukrainian citizens to travel to other Member States of the European Union is in fact limited although it is guaranteed to them by the EU Council Decision 2022/382.
Aa regards the current crisis on the border between Poland and Belarus and the treatment of persons entering Poland via the Belarusian route, the Commissioner informed the UN representative about his position on the “pushback” procedure used by the Polish services with regard to such persons and their frequent placement in guarded centres for foreign migrants.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants is a representative of the UN Human Rights Council, safeguarding full and effective exercise of rights by migrants in UN member states. Felipe González Morales is visiting Poland between 12 and 25 July 2022 with the aim to assess the situation of migrants and refugees in our country.