Visit of the Slovak Ombudsman and the National Prevention Mechanism to Poland
From 13 to 15 December, the Slovak Ombudsman (Verejný ochranca práv) Róbert Dobrovodský made a study visit to Poland together with representatives of the Slovak National Preventive Mechanism. The main objective of the three-day visit was to exchange experiences on the functioning of the National Prevention Mechanism within the structures of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights (CHR).
During the visit, a meeting took place between Ombudsman Dobrovodský and the Commissioner for Human Rights Marcin Wiącek, continuing the discussions initiated at the Summit of the Ombudsmen of the Visegrád Group countries. The conversation revolved around current issues in the activities of both institution and future directions of cooperation. Marcin Wiącek presented Róbert Dobrovodský with a commemorative medal on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Office of the CHR.
During their stay in Poland, the Slovak delegation also met with the Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights, Wojciech Brzozowski, and the Director of the National Preventive Mechanism, Przemysław Kazimirski, and his deputy, Marcin Kusy. The main topics of both meetings were the practical aspects of the NPM's activities in Poland and the methods of implementing the powers relating to visits to places of deprivation of liberty.
Furthermore, the members of the delegation, together with representatives of the NPM, visited the Białołęka Prison in Warsaw and met with representatives of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
According to the regulations in force since 1 May 2023, three institutions for the protection of human rights in Slovakia - the Ombudsman, the Commissioner for the Rights of the Child (Komisár pre deti) and the Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (Komisár pre osoby so zdravotným postihnutím) - jointly perform the tasks and competences of the National Preventive Mechanism. Each institution is authorised to visit different types of detention facilities.
The Slovak Ombudsman is empowered to visit places where persons deprived of their liberty by public authorities may be. This includes access to facilities such as places of arrest, places of detention and places of detention. In addition, the Ombudsman may inspect centres for asylum seekers and other places where persons subject to restrictions on their liberty are detained, in particular police detention centres and detention centres for foreigners.