A serious violation of human rights continues to happen on the Polish-Belarusian border. People trying to enter Poland are treated in an unhuman way and are exposed to health hazards and life-threatening circumstances. The Polish authorities respond to the humanitarian crisis by means of aggression and violations of the rights of migrants. The situation at the border raises our firm opposition, which is why since the beginning of the crisis we have been engaged in the fight for the rights of people crossing the Polish-Belarusian border.
We monitor the state of human rights and support humanitarian aid at the border
In cooperation with other organisations, residents of the borderland and activists operating within Grupa Granica (the Border Group), we monitor the situation at the border and support humanitarian action. We advocate towards authorities, politicians, the media and society, by providing reliable information about violations of human rights and the situation of migrants. Notably, we represent migrants in courts and reach out to institutions both at a local and European level; we contribute to recurrent Protecting Rights at Borders (PRAB) reports; we inform the media about the situation at the border; and we share knowledge with other people and organisations involved in helping migrants crossing the Polish-Belarusian border.
We provide legal assistance to people placed in detention centres for migrants
We visit detention centres for migrants (the so-called “SOCs”), providing free of charge legal advice i.e. to people who crossed the Polish-Belarusian border and who have been placed, in most cases, in illegal or unjustified detention. With the help of interpreters, we explain their situation in the light of the current legislation, we help them with administrative procedures and represent them in court.
We plead in courts for improving the situation of migrants and for systemic changes
We succeed to obtain a very important judgement, in which the court clearly stated that pushbacks are illegal and inhumane. The case concerned three Afghans who, despite having expressed their willingness to apply for international protection, were taken to the strict reserve of the Białowieża Primeval Forest and pushed back to Belarus. The District Court in Hajnówka ruled that their detention was illegal, unjustified, and incorrect.
We represent victims of pushbacks before the European Court of Human Rights
Shall the Polish system fail to fulfil its duties, we fight for the rights of migrants before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). By the end of July 2023, the ECHR had reported 11 cases concerning violations of the rights of migrants and asylum seekers on the Polish-Belarusian border. The applicants are predominantly nationals of Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. As an association, we represent 37 migrants before the ECHR.
With a judgment of October 18, 2023 (ref. no. IV SA/Wa 1416/23), the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw (WSA) annulled the appealed decision of the Head of the Office for Foreigners (UdsC) and the preceding decisi…
The NGO coalition PRAB (Protecting Rights at Borders), of which we are members, has just published another report on the situation of migrants attempting to cross EU borders while seeking international protection and sec…
A new Polish government is in place, and it takes first important decisions. We hope that the new ministers will take a responsible and human approach to the issue of migration, as there is practically no such policy in…
In November, we presented twice to the EU Asylum Agency (EUAA) our standpoint on the situation of international protection seekers in Poland.
Firstly, with the 2023 EUAA report currently underway, we have prepared our…
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