Convention on the Rights of the Child

Poland (CRC 6 December 2021)

The Committee considered the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports of Poland1 at
its 2544th and 2545th meetings,2 held virtually on 13 and 14 September 2021, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 2562nd meeting, held on 24 September 2021.

III. Main areas of concern and recommendations

C. General principles (arts. 2–3, 6 and 12)


18. The Committee is concerned that:

(a) Discrimination is not prohibited in legislation on all grounds, in all aspects of life and in all forms, including multiple forms of discrimination and the phenomenon of territories, workplaces or services declaring themselves as being “free from/unwelcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex persons”;

(b) There is a reported increase in the number of incidents of bullying and
discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or lack of religious affiliation, sexual orientation and gender identity and the response by the authorities to such incidents is insufficient;

(c) Gender stereotypes concerning the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society persist.

19. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations4 and recommends that the State party:

(a) Amend the relevant legislation to ensure protection against all forms of
direct, indirect, multiple and intersectional discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, disability and gender, and ensure that such incidents are thoroughly investigated and that perpetrators are brought to justice;

(b) Systematically undertake awareness-raising and education efforts on the
issues of discrimination, intolerance and hate speech against children belonging to ethnic, religious and linguistic minority groups, refugee, asylum-seeking and children in situations of migration, children with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children;

(c) Strengthen the measures to prevent and eliminate gender stereotypes,
intolerance and discrimination among the general public and the national and local authorities;

(d) Provide in its next periodic report an update of the work relevant for
children’s rights undertaken by the interministerial team referred to in paragraph 48 of the State party’s report.

Adolescent health

36. The Committee takes note of the efforts of the State party to prevent substance
abuse and the measures taken under the national programme for drug prevention and the national programme for the prevention and resolution of alcoholism. Recalling its general comment No. 4 (2003) on adolescent health and development in the context of the Convention and general comment No. 20 (2016) on the implementation of the rights of the child during adolescence, and targets 3.5 and 5.6 of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendations10 and urges the State party to:

(a) Expand the scope of the compulsory family life education course so that
adolescents have access to comprehensive, age-appropriate, science-based and gender stereotype-free education on sexual and reproductive health and rights, including information on the prevention of adolescent pregnancy and high-risk sexual behaviour and the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, family planning, contraceptives and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections;

(b) Ensure full access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, tailored to address the needs of adolescent girls, children with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children;

(c) Ensure that a full range of modern contraceptives and related information and services, including emergency contraception, are readily accessible to adolescents;

(d) Decriminalize abortion in all circumstances and ensure access to safe
abortion and post-abortion care services for adolescent girls, making sure that their views are always heard and given due consideration as a part of the decision-making process;

(e) Train health professionals to support children with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children;

(f) Strengthen its measures to prevent the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs
among adolescents and to provide rehabilitation services for those in need.

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