News/Poland´s Office for Foreigners: - Silje Garmo should be granted asylum

Poland´s Office for Foreigners: - Silje Garmo should be granted asylum

February 17, 2018

(From the Polish daily newspaper «Nasz Dziennik» on February 16th, 2018)

Poland´s Office for Foreigners: - Silje Garmo should be granted asylumJerzy Kwaśniewski (archive photo)

The Office for Foreigners in Poland has decided that the Norwegian Silje Garmo deserves legal protection of the Republic of Poland.

- This does not mean that asylum has been granted. The consent of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is still needed, states legal counsel of the Ordo Iuris Institute, Jerzy Kwaśniewski.

Sought asylum in 2017

Silje Garmo applied for asylum in Poland at the end of August last year because she is in danger of losing her 1 year old daughter to the Norwegian Child Protection Services, «Barnevernet». The office became interested in her case because she lost her daughter based on allegations that she was abusing painkillers, and she was also accused of a «chaotic lifestyle» and chronic fatigue.

Last year, her 12-year-old daughter was taken away from her as a result of charges made by the girl's father. Fearing the loss of her second child as well, the Norwegian woman decided to leave her native country and live in Poland.

Human Rights

As advised by legal counsel Jerzy Kwaśniewski from the Ordo Iuris Institute, the Office for Foreigners decided that Silje Garmo «deserves legal protection of the Republic of Poland in that returning to her homeland would threaten to violate her basic human rights, including protection of her family life».

«Therefore, there are good grounds for granting her asylum», states the Office for Foreigners.

- We are now waiting for the decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on whether it is in the interest of the Republic to grant such protection, says Kwaśniewski.

The decision on granting asylum is issued when two conditions are met simultaneously: The foreigner needs protection, and it must be important for the Republic of Poland. Thereafter, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must agree. The application process may take up to 6 months.

Child and Family

Kwaśniewski says emphatically: - It is in the interest of the Republic of Poland to look after the good of the child, care for the family's autonomy, and protect family life, even if they are foreigners, but have applied for protection in Poland.

- We point out that values ​​such as protection of family life and the protection of the child's right to an upbringing by a natural, biological parent are constitutional values,  says Kwaśniewski.

Press spokesman

Press spokesman of the Office for Foreigners Jakub Dudziak states that the matters related to granting asylum are carried out in administrative proceedings and hence covered by the protection of personal data and the privacy of the parties, Therefore the Office «does not comment on the individual circumstances of the cases being conducted». «I can only inform you that the proceedings are in progress», adds Dudziak to the newspaper «Nasz Dziennik».

Poland´s Office for Foreigners: - Silje Garmo should be granted asylumThe Polish daily newspaper
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