Positive changes in Polish penal code in regard to crimes against children enter into force

The initiator of the amendments to the penal code was the Polish Ombudsman for Children. The changes aim at improvement of the protection of children, especially those under the age of 15, and those who are helpless because of their mental or physical condition. Penalties for offenses and crimes such as kidnapping, abandonment, serious deterioration in health, unlawful detention, deprivation of liberty, physical and mental abuse have been increased.

"These are the most serious crimes against children - those of a sexual nature but also those that result in the deterioration in health or danger to life of a child by abandonment or beatings. Penalties for that crimes were the same as for burglary and theft. People often asked why they were so unfair" - said Marek Michalak, Ombudsman for Children.

An important change that new law introduces, and which causes a great controversy, is the legal obligation to respond to child abuse. From now on any person (except of a priest who gets such information within the confession) who knows about child abuse or that child's health or life is at risk has a legal obligation to respond and report this to the police or prosecutor. No response is punishable by up to three years in prison.

The Empowering Children Foundation prepared an informational campaign and a webpage with the most important information about changes described shortly above (webpage in Polish).

Submitted by admin on Thu, 2017-07-13 07:32.