Although Poland is party to some relevant human rights instruments, it has not acceded to any of the core statelessness conventions. Its data on stateless populations in the country is unreliable, and there is no dedicated statelessness determination procedure. Some stateless people may regularise their stay through alternative administrative procedures, for example, during return or removal proceedings, but there are significant protection gaps. Stateless people can be detained solely to confirm their identity, and their protection needs are not considered during detention procedures. There is a legal route to naturalisation for stateless people in Poland, but residency and documentation requirements present significant barriers.
There is a safeguard in Polish nationality law to prevent statelessness in the case of adopted children and foundlings, and the law provides for the acquisition of nationality by a child born to unknown or stateless parents on the territory. However, it does not prevent statelessness in the case of children whose foreign parents cannot confer their nationality, and there are practical obstacles to acquiring Polish nationality for children born abroad to same-sex parents, which are discriminatory and may result in statelessness. Legal residence of the parents is not required for birth registration, and although Poland has received UPR recommendations on access to birth registration, there are no current reports of barriers to birth registration.
Katarzyna Przybyslawska, Halina Niec Legal Aid Center