Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions

Poland

Country Report: Reduction or withdrawal of reception conditions Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Independent

The law provides for the possibility to withdraw material reception conditions, if an asylum seeker grossly violates the rules in the centre or acts violently towards employees of the centre or other foreigners staying there.[1] The decision on depriving reception conditions is issued by the Head of the Office for Foreigners. It can be re-granted to the same extent as previously (upon an asylum seeker’s request), but if the violation occurs again, it can be re-granted only in the form of a payment of half of the regular financial allowance provided to asylum seekers.[2]

The abovementioned rules of withdrawal and reduction of social assistance are used in practice very rarely. In 2019 only one asylum seeker was deprived of reception conditions and in one case it was re-granted.[3]. There was one case of withdrawal in 2018, 3 cases in 2017, and another 3 in 2016. No information is available about the specific reasons of such a withdrawal.[4] According to the Office for Foreigners, the rules on withdrawal are contradictory to the CJEU’s judgment in the case of Haqbin.[5] Since the judgment, none of the asylum seekers was deprived reception conditions on this basis.[6]

Social assistance can be reduced to a half of the financial allowance provided to asylum seekers also in case of a refusal to undergo medical examinations or necessary sanitary treatment of asylum seekers themselves and their clothes.[7] This possibility was not used in 2019.[8]

Moreover, in case an asylum seeker benefiting from social assistance in the centre stays outside this centre for a period exceeding two days, granting such assistance should be withheld by law until the moment of his return.[9]

Decisions on reduction and withdrawal of reception conditions are made on an individual basis. Asylum seekers have a possibility under the law to appeal a decision on reduction and withdrawal of reception conditions. Free legal assistance is provided by NGOs only under the general scheme. However, the risk of destitution is not assessed under the law or in practice. In one case in 2017, the Office for Foreigners withdrew material reception conditions from an applicant suffering from a complex form of PTSD, without his psychological condition being taken into consideration.

Asylum seekers are not requested to refund any costs of material reception conditions.

 


[1] Article 76(1) Law on Protection.

[2] Articles 76 and 78 Law on Protection.

[3] Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 22 January 2020.

[4] Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 1 February 2017 and 1 February 2018.

[5] CJEU (Grand Chamber), case C-233/18 Haqbin, Judgment of 12 November 2019.

[6]  Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 22 January 2020.

[7] Article 81(3) Law on Protection.

[8] Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 22 January 2020.

[9] Article 77 Law on Protection.

 

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