General

Poland

Country Report: General Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Independent

As of 31 December 2019, out of the 184 persons detained, 91 were asylum seekers. Given that 4,095 persons applied for asylum in Poland in 2019, it cannot be said that the majority of asylum seekers in Poland are detained. There were no cases of overcrowding in detention centres during that year.[1] Foreigners are obliged to pay for their stay in a detention centre calculated on the basis of algorithm, set in the Polish law.

Contrary to 2017 (when 246 asylum seekers were detained in total), Border Guard did not collect the data on the number of asylum seekers detained in guarded centres in 2019. In general, 1,033 foreigners were placed in detention centres in 2019 and only 11 foreigners were released on the basis of health considerations.[2]

There are six detention centres in Poland, which are generally profiled according to demographics: Lesznowola, Białystok and Krosno Odrzańskie are for men. Women, married couples, and families with children are placed in Kętrzyn, Biała Podlaska and Przemyśl. Unaccompanied children are placed in the detention centre in Kętrzyn. Only the detention centres in Krosno Odrzańskie, Przemyśl and Biała Podlaska have rooms with barred windows.[3]

According to the Office for Foreigners, the asylum cases of asylum applicants placed in detention are prioritised but it does not mean that they are examined more quickly when the cases are complex.[4] In practice it means that asylum seekers have only 3 days to present additional evidence in their case, before an asylum decision is made. In addition, NGOs claim that in the case of detained asylum seekers, the Refugee Board does not conduct evidentiary proceedings, meaning that they do not assess the grounds for applying for international protection.[5] The interview is conducted through videoconference in the presence of a psychologist (e.g. in the detention centre in Ketrzyn). According to NGOs, sometimes psychologists are only available in the premises of the Head of the Office for Foreigners and not in the centre where the individual is detained. Additionally, asylum seekers complain about poor quality of the videoconference.[6]

 


[1] Information provided by the Border Guard, 11 January 2018.

[2]Information from different branches of the SG (February-March 2020

[3] Information provided by the Border Guards, 17 January 2020, Commissioner for Human Rights, Wyciąg, Strzeżony Ośrodek dla Cudzoziemców w Białej Podlaskiej,18-19 July 2018, available (in Polish) at: https://bit.ly/2TBZ3OY.

[4] Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 15 January 2019.

[5] Information provided by Rule of Law Institute, 20 January 2020.

[6]Information provided by Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, 20 January 2020.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation