Poland: Recourse available to Romani women who are the victims of domestic abuse; whether they have equal access to the family court system; whether they have equal access to women's shelters in Bialystok; whether they have access to special protection agencies
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||4 October 2000|
|Citation / Document Symbol||POL35410.E|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Poland: Recourse available to Romani women who are the victims of domestic abuse; whether they have equal access to the family court system; whether they have equal access to women's shelters in Bialystok; whether they have access to special protection agencies, 4 October 2000, POL35410.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be978.html [accessed 23 December 2014]|
The population of Roma in Poland is estimated at 40,000 (OSCE 21 July 2000; Country Reports 1999 feb. 2000, Section 3).
The Director of the Warsaw-based Women's Rights Centre stated in a correspondence dated 8 October 2000 that legal, financial and material recourses available to Romani women who are the victims of domestic violence in Poland are "theorically the same as to Polish women." The Director stated that the facilities available to women are poor with a limited number of spaces. She did not disregard the possibility that Romani women may face discrimination as well as "internal barriers" in contacting organizations that provide help to women who are the victims of domestic violence.
On equal access to, and equal treatment of, Romani women by family courts in Poland, the representative stated that access is "theorically" equal for Romani women. However, they "may face additional barriers and probelms related to existing prejudices."
On the availability of women's shelters in the city of Byalistok to Romani women, the Director stated that very few facilities are available to homeless women and practically none were available to "battered women" in that region.
On whether there were any special agencies available to protect Romani women in Poland, the Director stated that she is not aware of any. General Roma associations are "rather male dominated", attached to traditional values, and would unlikely address the problems of Romani women.
No further information on the treatment of, nor the recourses available to, Romani women in Poland could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). 21 July 1998. Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE).
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1999. Feb. 2000. United States Department of State. Washington, DC.
Women's Rights Centre, Warsaw. 8 October 2000. Correspondence from director.
Additional Sources Consulted
Internet sources including:
Amnesty International. Search engine facility
Country Reports 1999
Human Rights Watch. Search engine facility
Network of East-West Women (NEWW). Search engine facility
Two oral sources could not provide the requested information within the research deadlines.