Poland - Universal Periodic Review - Gender-Based Violence and Migrant Rights - March 2022
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Asylum, Gender-Based Violence, Migrant Rights, Women's Rights
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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Poland fails to adequately uphold obligations to
protect people in need of international protection through its laws and
policies. Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane
Treatment or Punishment ("The Convention"), obliges State Parties to refrain
from expelling, refouling or extraditing a person when there is substantial
belief the individual would be in danger of torture. Poland's current
legislation allows for any migrants crossing the border unofficially to be
removed. Further, the government has exacerbated human rights violations in
neighboring Belarus by barring Belarusians and other foreign nationals in need
of international protection from entering Poland and failing to provide asylum
to victims of torture who are seeking protection in the European Union.
Domestic violence remains prevalent in Poland.
Despite advances in legislation for expanded protections, the law still does
not cover incidents of violence involving unmarried intimate partners or former
and/or non-cohabiting intimate partners. Psychological violence is rarely
charged without a corresponding charge of physical violence. System actors
treat charges of threats of violence or coercion as separate incidents, instead
of patterns of behavior. Due to the gaps in legislation, many victims are left
unprotected and without remedies.
Women face significant barriers to safe abortion
access. A recent Constitutional Court ruling effectively eliminated one of
three grounds for legal abortion, leaving many women either to seek unsafe
abortion or go outside the country. One woman died as a result of delayed
abortion care since the ruling. These restrictions leave women at risk of
mental and physical harm amounting to torture or cruel and inhumane treatment.