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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to health, A/HRC/14/20/Add.3, 20 May 2010: Poland


A. Access to information and sexuality education

25. Access to comprehensive, non-discriminatory, unbiased and science-based sexuality information and education in Poland is one of the issues related to rights to sexual and reproductive health that raises concern for the Special Rapporteur, particularly with regard to adolescents facing unwanted pregnancies. Despite the fact that the 1993 Act on Family Planning requires the Ministry of Education to introduce sexuality education into the school curriculum, sexuality education falls into the category “Family life education” as provided for by the Regulation of the Minister of National Education and Sport of 26 February 2002 on the core curricula for preschool education and general education.

Family life courses focus narrowly on marriage and family and touch only to a very limited extent on issues of sexuality and procreation, merely promoting abstinence and traditional methods of family planning. The curriculum also lacks science and evidence-based information on contraception, abortion and non-discriminatory content on gender and sexual orientation. The Special Rapporteur was also informed that schools do not follow a consistent programme and often sexuality education courses are taught by school counsellors, physical education teachers or teachers of vocational subjects. Sometimes, these courses are given by priests or nuns, whose religious beliefs may affect their ability to provide unbiased, science-based and reliable information about sexual and reproductive health, irrespective of whether they are otherwise qualified to teach.


D. HIV/AIDS and harm reduction policies

78. The Centre also seeks to raise awareness at the community level regarding HIV and AIDS. It hosts workshops for doctors, nurses, teachers, VCT counsellors and mounts campaigns to promote safe sex, use of condoms and other harm reduction techniques. Education and awareness programmes target people within the 18–35 age group, those who travel, are sexually active, and specifically targets groups most vulnerable to HIV, such as women and children, members of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, people using drugs, street workers, etc.This includes the dissemination of appropriate information relating to health, availability of services, and supporting people in making informed choices regarding their health.

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