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Poland cannot breach obligations to receive refugees

Prime Minister Beata Szydło said that at the moment she could not see the possibility of accepting refugees into Poland. It is a consequence of the position of the Polish government, which openly expressed reluctance to the re-settlement mechanism. At the same time Polish authorities did nothing to find a constructive solution to the refugee crisis.

The HFHR has called on the Polish authorities to perform their obligations and receive all refugees, according to previous declarations.

The government’s position is not only inconsistent with Poland’s obligations assumed in the result of arrangements made at EU level, but also clearly demonstrates unwillingness to help those who were forced to leave their homes in fear for their lives and health. Most frequently, refugees are fleeing wars and terror, and that is precisely why they should not be confused with those who commit acts of terror both in Syria and in Europe. Linking terrorist attacks to refugees is an expression of populism and only strengthens the misperceptions in this respect.

Refugees have been coming to Poland since the early 1990s. It cannot therefore be concluded that Poland and Europe are not prepared for accepting immigrants. Each year thousands of refugees, including those from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, apply for a refugee status in Poland. So far, Poland and Polish citizens has not experienced any negative consequences of this phenomenon.

As part of the re-settlement system, in 2016 Poland was supposed to receive only 400 refugees. Their reception was to be preceded by thorough security vetting. To this day, no refugee has been re-settled in Poland.

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