Poland was already subjected to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2008. In 2012 the second round of UPR process of Poland started.

The UPR proceeds in 4 stages:

Stage 1 – submission of the reports regarding the situation of Human Rights in the relevant country to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Stage 2 – Poland’s UPR review in Geneva
Stage 3 – acceptance/rejection of recommendations by the country in its final report
Stage 4 – monitoring of the implementation of the report accepted by the country

On the 28th of November 2011 the first stage of UPR was conluded. ATD Fourth World Poland, KARAT Coalition, SOS Childrens Villages and Association of Legal Intervention presented to the UNHCHR the report on the situation of Human Rights in Poland.

In May 2012 Poland presented a national report. The Working Group on UPR adopted its report on Poland in June 2012 listing a number of recommendations. On September 7, 2012 the Polish government presented its responses to the recommendations in its final report. It was accepted by the UN Human Rights Council on September 20th, 2012.

During the May session five countries: Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Germany and France stated that the most critical area of human rights’ violations in Poland is an access to medical services related to reproductive rights. This problem was formulated as five recommendations urging the country to provide women with good access to legal abortion and contraceptives, as well as children with modern sexual education at schools. However, the Polish government in its final report did not recognize the problem stating that all the recommendations have been already implemented. It means that there is no further need to work on these issues.  The human rights and women organizations find the government’s response outrageous knowing that reproductive rights’ violations are common in Poland.


For more information about UPR process see the Human Rights Committee website.