The Center provides free legal aid to refugees and foreigners applying for international protection in Poland.
The right to citizenship is one of the fundamental human rights. Unfortunately, statelessness is still a significant problem affecting many communities worldwide. The global number of stateless persons is estimated at 10 million, of whom approximately 600 000 live in Europe. Stateless persons also live in Poland and although their number is small (estimated at about 2 - 4000 people), there are currently no appropriate legal solutions for them. Importantly, this problem mainly concerns children.
In 2012 the Center conducted the first analysis in Poland of the situation of stateless persons, and then participated in the preparation of reports on child statelessness and the arbitrary detention of stateless persons. In addition to research activities, the Center's lawyers provide legal assistance to stateless persons and conduct advocacy activities aimed at introducing better legal protection of stateless persons in Poland.
Since 2011 the Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center has been preparing an annual report entitled « The phenomenon of human trafficking with respect to foreigners staying in Poland ». The report is available in the Publications section.
The Center is a member of the Committee for Combating and Preventing Trafficking in Human Beings, a consultative and advisory body to the Prime Minister, and a member of the Voivodeship Committee for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings.
Since the beginning of its existence, the Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center has been a watchdog type organization and has carried out human rights monitoring. With regard to its function as the UNHCR's executive partner, the Center conducts annual monitoring of access to the refugee procedure and of compliance with the principle of non-refoulement in Poland.
Other monitoring activities conducted by the Center concern :
All current reports from the conducted monitoring activities are available in the Publications section.
As part of its mission, the Halina Nieć Legal Aid Center runs educational activities, including :
The Center also carries out informational activities addressed to foreigners and the general public.
Legal aid concerns particularly the guarded centers in Biała Podlaska, Lesznowola, Przemyśl and Krosno Odrzańskie. The monitoring focuses on the border crossing in Terespol and Medyka.
Since 2013 the CPPHN has been a member of the European Network on Statelessness (ENS), and since 2015 a member of the ENS Advisory Committee.
If you are interested in the question of statelessness, you can use the ENS Statelessness Index – a tool containing an extensive database of European law and practice in this area.
Click on the Index logo on the right.
Since 2014 the Center has also been a member of the Polish Nationwide Network of the Non-Governmental Organisations Against Trafficking in Human Beings coordinated by the La Strada Foundation.