Since the adoption of ECRI’s fifth report on Poland on 20 March 2015, progress has been made and good practices have been developed in a number of fields.
By an Act of 7 July 2022, Article 256.1 of the Criminal Code was amended to the effect that the punishment for the promotion of totalitarianism, nazi, communist or fascist ideologies, or hatred based on national, ethic, racial or religious differences, was increased, while the same Act introduced an explicit reference to hatred on the grounds of a victim’s national, ethnic, racial, political or religious affiliation, as an aggravated circumstance listed in Article 53.2a of the Criminal Code, which courts will be obliged to take into account in their sentencing.
Police training about tackling antisemitism has recently been initiated, as provided by the Union of Jewish Communities, and the President of the Republic has on several occasions reacted with counter-speech against antisemitic hate speech.
ECRI further welcomes that Article 68 of the 2003 Act on Granting Protection to Foreigners within the Territory of the Republic of Poland was amended to include, as of 2015, victims of violence committed on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity as vulnerable persons eligible for special treatment in the proceedings for granting international protection, and that at least a few asylum seekers have been granted international protection on these grounds.
ECRI commends the city of Gdansk for its immigrant integration model, which was developed in 2015-2016 and which still successfully serves as a basis for the integration of foreigners in the municipality through actions in inter alia the areas of education, culture, health, employment, social assistance and housing, as well as measures against violence and discrimination. Linked to the integration model, Gdansk has created an immigrant council, a consultative body consisting of EU and third country immigrants, to advise the City in immigration and integration matters.
ECRI notes with satisfaction that progress was made in Roma children’s attendance and graduation rates. The proportion of Roma children in so-called special schools for children with learning disabilities has dropped significantly.