The Commissioner for Human Rights is the constitutional authority for legal control and protection in Poland. In accordance with Article 210 of the Constitution, the Commissioner is autonomous and independent of other state bodies and is accountable only to the Sejm (lower chamber of the Parliament).

The Commissioner acts pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland and the Commissioner for Human Rights Act of 15 July 1987. The Commissioner is appointed by the Sejm and approved by the Senate for a five-year term of office.

The Commissioner for Human Rights has a mandate to safeguard human and civil freedoms and rights, including the implementation of the principle of equal treatment. In these matters, the Commissioner examines whether the law or principles of social conduct and social justice have not been violated by acts or omissions of authorities, organizations or institutions required to respect and implement these freedoms and rights. The Commissioner may carry out an investigation independently (Article 12(1) of the Act), request the examination of the case by competent authorities (Article 12(2) of the Act), or request the Sejm to order the Supreme Audit Office to examine the case (Article 12(3) of the Act).

The Commissioner for Human Rights can also approach relevant authorities with proposals for legislative initiatives or for issuing or amending legal acts concerning human and civil freedoms and rights. This power is an important and frequently used tool in the Commissioner’s interventions. The Commissioner for Human Rights may also submit motions to the Supreme Court for adopting resolutions to explain legal provisions which, in practice, raise doubts or whose application has resulted in conflicting judicial decisions. Moreover, the Commissioner regularly draws the attention of the Polish Government to international standards for the protection of fundamental rights and for the need of ratification by the state of international instruments.

The Commissioner for Human Rights cooperates with associations, civic movements, other voluntary groupings, foundations, foreign and international authorities and organizations for the protection of human and civil freedoms and rights, including in the area of equal treatment. This cooperation includes in practice many educational activities that promote knowledge of human rights standards, such as: posting information on its activities on its official website and on social media, publishing leaflets and newsletters, conducting awareness-raising campaigns on human rights, holding events (many of which are live-streamed), participating in events organized by other public bodies and NGOs, as well as preparing scientific and popular science publications.

The Commissioner for Human Rights is assisted by the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights.

Head of institution

Marcin Wiącek



Aleja “Solidarności” 77, 00-090 Warszawa, Poland

Year of establishment


Accreditation status


Year of accreditation


Number of staff

336 (as of 31.12.2022)

Regional offices

Gdańsk, Katowice, Wrocław


  • Ombudsman institution
  • Equality body
  • CRPD monitoring body
  • National Preventive Mechanism

Core functions

  • Complaints handling
  • Individual legal assistance
  • Monitoring
  • Publishing research, recommendations, opinions
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Providing opinions on legislative acts and legislative projects
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations
  • Supporting the work of human rights defenders
  • Human rights education and training
  • Awareness raising activities
  • International activities and projects