Equal access to public services for foreigners: Warsaw
human rights
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
City of Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland
01-10-2021 - 31-05-2023
Project cost:
25 000,00 EUR
25 000,00 EUR
Types of activities:
educational activities, use the effects of monitoring to conduct advocacy or intervention activities
Target groups:
migrants, local government, officials and employees of public institutions

The project responds to the problem of discrimination against migrants in accessing public services in Warsaw. Even before Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, foreigners made up at least 2.5% of the city’s population. In their daily life, migrants have for years experienced discrimination – direct and systemic – on the basis of origin, language or legal status. Almost half have experienced hate speech and/or other negative behaviour motivated by xenophobia. Until recently, as many as 30 per cent of Warsaw residents declared distrust of foreigners. The Russian aggression against Ukraine took place during the project period, which triggered mass forced migration on a scale never seen before in Poland. The new political and social situation created a new context for the activities of local government and NGOs. As a result of these circumstances, certain activities of the city administration have changed, new solutions have been introduced, but new needs and challenges have also emerged, including information exchange, cooperation with the non-governmental sector and migrant communities. Despite clear barriers to accessing public services, the city had long lacked a comprehensive diagnosis of the problem and had no tools for monitoring discrimination.

The Project Promoter carried out a diagnosis of barriers to foreigners’ access to public services in five areas (local administration, education, health care, social welfare, culture and sport) and prepared a monitoring tool. As part of the educational component, a webinar was conducted and material was developed aimed at people working in offices, educational institutions, health care, social assistance centres and cultural institutions. Based on the survey, the Project Promoter conducted 5 participatory workshops with representatives of local administration, NGOs and experts. During the workshops, barriers and possible actions of municipal institutions to counter discrimination were discussed. After the workshops, recommendations were developed on equal treatment of foreigners in access to public services and the city’s offer.

The project ultimately benefited the migrant community living in Warsaw, although it directly targeted those working in the area of public services. As a result, the sensitivity of officials to the needs of migrants was raised, their intercultural competences and awareness of structural discrimination increased. Significant changes in the operation of the institutions were already taking place during the project, in response to the emergency situation related to the war in Ukraine and the arrival of large numbers of refugees, for whom the local government had to ensure access to local public services, among other things.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How we can help you:

Translate »
Content | Menu | Access panel