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Position Paper – Council UNHCR –Poland

Addressing the global refugee crisis

The current situation in the world shows that we have the highest number ever recorded
in history with a bizarre total of 22.5 million refugees1. But as a country, Poland has had history
with migration crisis since World War II. Why are we forcing refugees asylum in Poland where
in fact we have been facing this problem ourselves for almost a century now. Our citizens were
forced out of their homes and separated from their family to be sent out to foreign countries.
Most Polish citizens perished in the war were civilian victims of the war crimes and crimes
against humanity during the occupation by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union with total around
2 to 3 million deaths. But even that, EU still forcing our nation to receive asylum seekers from
former Soviet Union countries with open arms and without any repercussion or worry even after
45 years of Soviet occupation. Our government was forced in exile, unrecognized since the end
of World War II, ridiculed by the communist authority /as well. Even then, Poland has become
home to many refugees from former Soviet Union in particular, Chechnya2. In the first half of
2004, Poland was the second receiving country asylum seekers from the Russian Federation
among top 20 countries of asylum after Austria3.

The constantly changing environment and the inflation of foreign influences especially
now in the globalization era is a worrying factor in terms of national security and the fear of
identity loss as a country. Also geographically, our position between Germany and Russia as
well as a lack of natural borders like mountains or waters is showing great risks with open
borders policy. As a country, we are still in transit from the switch from communism into
capitalism which is not just affecting the economy, but the overall government in Poland and its
people’s persepectives and ways of life. But this transition is the one we shouldn’t ignore,
because some parts of Poland have not been able to profit from this transition and the standard of
life is lower so in a sense, receiving high numbers of foreigners not only will be a risk but also

1
“Figures at a Glance”. UNHCR. Web. Acessed 13 October 2017. <http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html>
2
Bart Bachman (13 October 2017) “Diminishing Solidarity : Polish Attitudes toward the European Migratoon
3
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Background Note on the Protection of Asylum Seekers and
Refugees in Poland, 4 October 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4326f9b74.html [accessed 14
October 2017]
could take down the country’s economy and people’s home because of how expensive the
maintenance for asylum seekers. But the blackmail by EU to our country is showing non-
sympathetic act even towards its member with forcing Poland to pay 250000 Euros for each
asylum seeker we turn away. That means Poland asked to meet quota of 65000 refugees or pay
out over 1,6 billion Euros which would abolish the sovereignty of EU member states especially
the weaker ones. That decision won’t work because the condition in every country is different
economically and Poland will have to oppose to that with strong stance for our own country.

Poland government stance on refugee is with zero tolerance as of 2017 because it’s a risk
not worth taking for our country’s security and of people’s interest also capability in handling
sanctuary seekers. We need more assurance from EU if they are forcing this policy in handling
refugees from Middle East and Africa to our country. We need an open plan that guarantee
financial and security supports for our citizens welfare. The strategy of just allowing open
borders won’t work for us efficiently then we only allow detention for these sanctuary seekers
because there’s no promise that their presence in our countries won’t sparked or caused terrorist
attacks or other danger occurrences that won’t be safe for our nation. We need quality assurance
from EU who is commanding this policy, that there is no deprivation for Poland to even take part
in this policy whilst we as a country is still on going transition ourselves.