Provision of information on reception

Poland

Country Report: Provision of information on reception Last updated: 26/05/22

Author

Independent

The Border Guard, upon admitting the asylum application, has to inform the applicant in a language understandable to him or her and in writing about i.e. the asylum procedure itself, the asylum seeker’s rights, obligations, and the legal consequences of not respecting these obligations, as well as the extent of the material reception conditions. It also provides the asylum seeker with the address of the centre to which they have to report.[1] According to the Border Guard it is provided in 22 languages.[2]

Upon admission to the centre, asylum seekers receive (in writing or in the form of an electronic document,  in a language understandable to them) the rules of stay in the centre (set in law), information about their rights and obligations (which includes all the basic information, including on access to the labour market or on their legal status), information on regulations governing the provision of material reception conditions and about procedures used in case of the person has been subjected to violence, especially against minors.[3] Moreover, the rules of stay in the centre shall be displayed in a visible place in the premises of the centre, in Polish and in languages understandable to the asylum seekers residing in the centre.[4] In the first-reception centres new-coming asylum seekers could also participate in a course on basic information about Poland and the asylum procedure. Since March 2020 though, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such courses were terminated.[5]

It is not envisaged in the legislation which languages the rules of stay in the centre, information about rights and obligations and on regulations governing the provision of material reception conditions should be translated into. It states that information has to be accessible “in an understandable language”. The rules of stay in the centre and above-mentioned information issued on the basis of the current law were translated in practice into English, Russian, Arabic, French, Georgian and Ukrainian.[6]

The Office for Foreigners claims that the centres’ employees speak English and Russian. Additionally, in 2021, mentors knowing Pashto and Dari were hired. The agreement was also concluded with the translation office.[7] However, NGOs still consider the interpreters’ assistance in the reception centres insufficient.

The Supreme Audit Office concluded in 2019 that the Office for Foreigners had provided access to necessary information for asylum seekers at its headquarters, in the centres and through its website. The information concerned asylum procedure, material reception conditions, healthcare, rights and obligations of asylum seekers, appeal proceedings and NGOs’ assistance. In the centres, information meetings were organised on a regular basis and asylum seekers could receive leaflets published by NGOs. The Office for Foreigners published its own guides for asylum seekers as well.[8] However, it must be noted that during pandemic access to information provided in person – in the Office, in NGOs’ premises or during information meetings – was limited. Moreover, in 2021, the Office’s website has been changed. It is now far less comprehensible and exhaustive. It is available in Polish, English and Russian, but some materials published there are available also in other languages.[9]

 

 

 

[1] Article 30(1)(5) Law on Protection.

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

[3] Para 3 of the Annex to the Regulation on rules of stay in the centre for asylum seekers. The Office for Foreigners published a guide for asylum seekers “First steps in Poland”, which is handed to them upon admission to the centre. Available in English, Arabic, French, Georgian, Polish, Dari and Russian.

[4] Para 18 of the Annex to the Regulation on rules of stay in the centre for asylum seekers.

[5] Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 26 January 2021 and 26 January 2022. 

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

[7] Information provided by the Office for Foreigners, 26 January 2022.

[8] Supreme Audit Office, Przygotowanie administracji publicznej do obsługi cudzoziemców. Informacja o wynikach kontroli, 2019, available (in Polish) at: https://bit.ly/2Sej7IT, 43.

[9] See https://www.gov.pl/web/udsc.

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