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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century

Republic of Poland

Poland has pursued a policy of economic liberalization since 1990 and today stands out as a success story among transition economies.

Unemployment is falling rapidly, though at roughly 9.7% in 2008, it remains above the EU average. In 2008 inflation reached 4.3%, more than the upper limit of the National Bank of Poland's target range, but has been falling due to global economic slowdown.

An inefficient commercial court system, a rigid labor code, bureaucratic red tape, and persistent low-level corruption keep the private sector from performing up to its full potential. [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Poland. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you. You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street. Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public and how they abuse each other. Would you like to write about market children? homeless children? Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc. There is a lot to the subject of Street Children. Scan other countries as well as this one. Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions. Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Neglected Children

Konrad Kiedrzyński, Warsaw Business Journal, 08 December 2008

[accessed 11 Aug 2013]

Increasing numbers of children are neglected in Poland, and this is resulting in pathological behavior, experts warn. "The problem is and will be growing," said Monika Winiarska, from the department of pedagogy and psychology at the University of Białystok (UwB). The most typical problems include truancy, running away from home, working on the streets and stealing.

The decay of family bonds is the main cause for such behavior, according to UwBs Winiarska. The problem is further aggravated by factors like poor receational infrastructure she added.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Global Monitoring Report on the status of action against commercial exploitation of children - POLAND [PDF]

ECPAT International, 2006

[accessed 11 July 2011]

[accessed 1 January 2017]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF BOYS - September 2002 saw a major police operation against the sexual exploitation of boys that was taking place in Warsaws Central Train Station. Young boys - mainly escapees from institutions which also receive child victims of sexual exploitation, as they are sometimes regarded as offenders were being abused in return for money, alcohol, food and computer games. The abusers were between 34 and 70 years old, and included a businessman, a doctor, a manager in a large company, a psychologist in a reformatory, a researcher in a scientific institute and a priest. Most of the accused were married, some also had children. sccp

Human Rights Reports 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Education is universal and mandatory until age 18, and public schools are free. According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), 98 percent of school-age children attended school. Most students continued their studies to the postsecondary level.

Concluding Observations Of The Committee On The Rights Of The Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 4 October 2002

[accessed 19 December 2010]

[27] The Committee notes with concern that the principle of non-discrimination is not adequately implemented with respect to certain vulnerable groups of children, including children of the Roma and other ethnic minorities, children living in institutions, children with disabilities, children of poor families and children with HIV/AIDS. In particular, the Committee is concerned about their limited access to adequate health, education and other social services and about reports of racially motivated violence in which police have failed to protect the victims.

[36] The Committee is concerned at the large number of children in the State party living in institutions, a significant proportion of whom are "social" rather than natural orphans.

[52] The Committee is concerned that, despite pilot programs aimed at improving the situation of the Roma in certain provinces, they still suffer from widespread discrimination which has in some instances impeded Romani children's right to education, health and social welfare.

ROPE - Relief for Oppressed People Everywhere

[Last access date unavailable]

Despite its recent successes, 17% of Poland 38 million people live below the poverty line. Much of this is due to high unemployment levels, only helped by large scale emigration of the young workforce to Western Europe.

We give essential aid to widows and refugees, provide regular financial support for orphans and street children, and rescue girls in danger of prostitution. [2006 website posting]

Country Information Poland - CIVLIZATION AND CULTURE

[accessed 1 January 2017]

STATE AND SOCIETY - Children also suffer under domestic violence and neglect. One effect of this is the large number of street children.

Volatile Substance Abuse Among Young People In Poland

Council of Europe -- Consultant's final report by Richard Ives (1996) [ISBN 92-871-3184-8]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 11 July 2011]

[accessed 1 January 2017]

10.3 SPECIAL GROUPS - There are a number of groups that are likely to be more at risk of drug and volatile substance use than others. These include children in difficult family circumstances, children whose parents misuse alcohol or drugs, 'street children' and - possibly - members of minority groups such as Roma. It is also important that groups who may be thought unlikely to misuse drug or volatile substances are not neglected, for even among such groups there is likely to be some substance misuse. For example, among rural and small town folk or among more 'middle-class' young people. I attempted to find examples of work with street children, but there did not appear to be any projects that focused on this group.

I met with a representative of the refugee council, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, who said that there was not a problem of volatile substance misuse among the refugees she dealt with. In many people's minds, the problem of street children in Poland is associated with refugees and immigrants from poorer countries of Central and Eastern Europe. But these are not the only groups on the street.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use. PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Poland",, [accessed <date>]