POLAND: Access to justice for children

This report is part of CRIN's access to justice for children project, looking at the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in national law, the status of children involved in legal proceedings, the legal means to challenge violations of children’s rights and the practical considerations involved in challenging violations.

Poland ratified the CRC on 7 June 1991. As an international agreement ratified under a statute, the CRC takes precedence over national law (except the Constitution). However, upon ratification, several declarations and reservations were made. Since the CRC is a part of Polish law, it is widely referred by national courts. Both general principles and particular rights of the CRC are directly applicable. Depending on the nature of the incident, children and their representatives might challenge violations of their rights before civil or administrative courts. Every child whose rights are violated and every person aware of such a violation can make a request to the Commissioner for Children’s Rights for help. In general, children (persons under 18), cannot bring cases by themselves and do not have the capacity to perform actions in court proceedings on their own behalf. Non-governmental organisations are permitted to intervene or bring challenges in cases concerning, among other things, discriminatory treatment and the child’s allowance. In order to act on behalf of a child, non-governmental organisations need to receive a written consent from the child’s legal representative.

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Please note that these reports are hosted by CRIN as a resource for Child Rights campaigners, researchers and other interested parties. Unless otherwise stated, they are not the work of CRIN and their inclusion in our database does not necessarily signify endorsement or agreement with their content by CRIN.