26 August 2021 — The 88th session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child will be held this September during which Poland is to report on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Federation for Women and Family Planning submitted a report to the Committee presenting Poland’s numerous deficiencies in fulfilling its obligations under the Convention as regards ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health services, including access to abortion and comprehensive sexuality education. Recommendations obliging Poland to ensure access to these services were addressed to Poland in 2015 in the concluding observations ending the previous reporting cycle[1].

In our report, first of all we emphasize, that not only Poland severely failed to implement the recommendations of the Committee, but went further in violating the rights guaranteed in the Convention by introducing a quasi-total ban on abortion particularly affecting teenagers, due to their age, resulting sensitivity and obvious dependency on adults. We also inform the Committee about the difficulties in access to gynecological care and contraception in Poland and the lack of comprehensive sexuality education. The later has become even more acute since P. Czarnek is the Minister of Education who openly supports antirights organizations active in the demolition of the  existing system of protection of human rights. The Federation asks the Committee to order Poland to take seriously the urgent necessity to protect the rights of children, as the solutions Poland has been adopting recently may threaten the life and health of young people.

[1] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding Observations: Poland, para. 39(a), U.N. Doc. CRC/C/POL/CO/3-4 (2015).