Back GREVIO publishes its first baseline report on Poland

Strasbourg 16/09/2021
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GREVIO publishes its first baseline report on Poland

Today, the Council of Europe Expert Group on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) published its first baseline evaluation report on Poland.

The report contains a comprehensive analysis of the implementation of the provisions of the Istanbul Convention. It praises recently introduced emergency barring orders, allowing law-enforcement agencies to temporarily evict a domestic abuser from a family residence. Accompanied by training initiatives, this reflects positive government efforts to implement a “fundamental cornerstone” of the convention.

Despite such progress, greater steps to stop sexual violence, rape and sexual harassment must be taken, according to GREVIO, starting with changing the definition of rape itself. As with some other previously monitored countries, Poland should align the definition of rape with convention requirements, which move away from a force-based definition to one covering all non-consensual sexual acts. Furthermore, GREVIO findings reveal that rape crisis and sexual violence centres offering medical care, high-quality forensic examination and immediate, short- and long-term trauma support delivered by trained professionals are lacking. Such services should be geographically spread and available in sufficient numbers, accessible to victims living in both rural areas and cities.

Also, the report calls for better training for law enforcement, as police may be the first to come into contact with rape victims and must provide them with information about support services and take them to medical facilities to secure forensic evidence.

 Comments of the Government of Poland

 Press release
Poland: While initiatives against domestic violence show promise, urgent steps needed to respond to other forms of violence against women, says new report

Media Coverage

NFP - Notes from Poland - Report praises steps against domestic violence in Poland but urges further progress

Gazeta Prawna - Article

Reuters - “Europe's rights watchdog tells Poland to change definition of rape”

Russia today - Europe’s top human rights organization calls on Poland to change criminal definition of rape

State Crime Watch - Poland: Promising initiatives towards home violence however pressing steps wanted to fight different types of violence towards girls

Swiss Info - Europe's rights watchdog tells Poland to change definition of rape