New Ombudsman for Children

Ewa Sowińska should no longer occupy the post of Ombudsman for Children (RPD). The only question is: will she resign herself or will she be dismissed. If she does not resign Civic Platform (PO) and the Left want the Sejm to dismiss her during the next sitting. According to the coalition of Civic Platform and the Polish Peasant Party (PO-PSL), Sowińska is incompetent and is detrimental to children’s matters. What is more she has broken the parliamentary oath, they add. But her dismissal would not automatically lead to the election of a new RPD. First, the new amendment of the resolution on the RPD must be passed. The draft was submitted to the Speaker of the House yesterday. This has been undertaken in order to demand requirements from candidates because at the moment, none are stipulated. According to the bill, the candidate should be a graduate of law, psychology, pedagogical or sociological studies and have experience in work with children. Secondly, the RPD should have more know-how. Today the only person who is legally obliged to reply to questions or queries from the RPD is the RPD him- or herself. Other institutions and offices are not legally required to cooperate. “Up to 90% of the RPD’s applications were left with no reply because institutions do not have to do so. On the other hand, Sowińska did not insist,” says Magdalena Kochan from Civic Platform (PO). She adds, “our changes will strengthen the position of the RPD and give him or her the necessary tools to fight for children’s rights.” The new RPD will be appointed as soon as the resolution is changed. According to Civic Platform members, one of the candidates is Marek Michalak, a co-founder of the Children’s Association “Serce” and a founder of the National Forum for Children’s Rights. The other candidate is Ewa Leśnodorska who was highly rated during the previous appointment of the RPD. Law and Justice (PiS) has a completely different opinion. “If we want to have a good RPD we should first pass the new resolution which will demand higher qualifications from candidates and then take the decision whether or not to dismiss Sowińska,” says Joanna Kluzik-Rostkowska. PiS fears that the earlier dismissal of Sowińska could become a precedence to shorten the terms of other officials. Ewa Sowińska will make a decision about her resignation after the meeting with Speaker of the House Bronisław Komorowski, which will take place this week.


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