Country report non-discrimination. Poland 2020 including summary

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:


Due to several factors, which include the low level of legal awareness in Polish society, people’s passivity (and sometimes fear) around seeking to uphold their rights and a lack of systematic research, it is impossible to assess the real scale of discrimination in Poland. Research commissioned by the Polish Ombud found that in 2018, 73 % of people who believed that they had been discriminated against did not inform any public body (85 % in 2015 and 92 % in 2016). For this reason, raising legal awareness among the public would seem to require systemic activities on a large scale. The Polish Government lacks a strategic approach to counteracting discrimination. The first National Programme of Activities for Equal Treatment, covering 2013-2016, has ended. However, since the parliamentary elections in autumn 2015, the activities of the Government Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment (Pełnomocnik Rządu do Spraw Równego Traktowania) have been very limited; an evaluation of the previous programme has not been completed and a new national programme has not been prepared, despite a legal obligation in that regard. Since 2015, the Ombud’s Office, which plays the role of equality body, has faced political attacks for its activities targeting discrimination. In fact, the general political environment around counteracting discrimination has become hostile. The concept of age discrimination (discrimination that is focused primarily on older people) has found its place in recent years, and awareness of such discrimination among older people is slowly growing. The activities of the Ombud have resulted in more research and recommendations. In 2013, the Minister of Labour appointed a Council for Older People’s Policy; it prepared guidelines for long-term policy on older people for 2014-2020, which were adopted by the Council of Ministers. In October 2018, the Council of Ministers adopted the document Social Policy for Older People 2030 – safety, participation, solidarity. However, as underlined by the Ombud, no concrete measures have been proposed in the area of combating discrimination.

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