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 summary of the greatest changes and challenges that those seeking protection in Poland faced last year.
In our report, we highlighted, for example, the following issues:
- The ongoing pushbacks on the Polish-Belarusian border and the corresponding increasing levels of violence against both migrants and those helping them.
- Difficulties in applying for international protection in guarded centers.
- Lack of full access to files in international protection cases.
- Extension of the maximum period of detention of migrants in any case – up to 18 months.
- Groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling on detention of migrants in Poland.
- Insufficient use of alternatives to detention in Poland.
- Placing children in detention, despite repeated criticism from the European Court of Human Rights in this regard, as well as victims of violence, despite the fact that this is against Polish law.
- An increasing number of complaints against Poland to the European Court of Human Rights, especially concerning pushbacks and detention of migrants.
- Insufficient number of guardians for unaccompanied minors.
- Difficulties for beneficiaries of temporary protection in Poland, especially with regard to entry into Poland and access to social benefits.
Our report can be viewed here.
Secondly, we attended two meetings of the EUAA Consultative Forum on 30 November and 1 December: in the annual meeting of all NGOs constituting the Forum and in the meeting of the Working Group on Vulnerable Persons. Our Association has been a member of the Forum since 2022. During both these events, we tried to ensure that EU bodies were informed of the challenges and violations faced by those seeking international protection in Poland.