Cheated. Objectified.
People like us.

We can save them.

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Our manifesto

A few hours’ drive from our homes, people – among them little children – are forced to wander through the forests. They are at a breaking point: hungry, thirsty and cold to the bone. They have been deceived by the vision of a safe passage to Europe and used in a political conflict to which they are not a party. The border belt between Poland and Belarus turned for them into a trap. They cross the Polish border risking their lives, guarded by armed soldiers. They have no way back. On the Belarusian side, they often face fear, uncertainty and violence, and are stranded on the border.

We cannot remain indifferent to the faultless suffering of these people.

Regardless of the reasons that brought them to the Polish border and whether they fulfill the conditions for asylum in Europe or should return to their countries, we must not allow them to die of starvation, cold and exhausted on our land. Even in times of conflict, civilians should not have to pay with their lives for getting entangled in the dispute.

Regardless of political views and religious beliefs, the ethical foundations of our civilisation dictate to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and welcome travellers at our homes.

 “The suffering of these people is our suffering. The fact that they are still so brutally used in the political struggle does not absolve us from thinking of them as our brothers. We mustn’t tell ourselves that we have nothing to do with this!” said recently the Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech Polak.

Our common security requires defending our borders while respecting fundamental human rights.

The right to life and decent treatment is inalienable and vested in everyone, regardless of religion, origin or skin colour. Helping the hungry and cold is always legal and deserves the highest moral commendation. However, it is too heavy a burden for the citizens alone to bear. Professional humanitarian organisations must take action in the border belt.

As organisations trusted by millions of Polish people, in the spirit of the traditions of hospitality and the memory of refugees from among our own compatriots,

we call upon the government to contain the humanitarian crisis on the eastern border. We must not allow any more deaths and further destabilisation of this region of the country. We can no longer shift the responsibility for saving human lives to our fellow citizens. In view of the coming winter and the visible escalation of the conflict on the Belarusian side, we demand that professional medical and humanitarian aid be urgently admitted to the emergency zone. We declare our readiness to take immediate action in this area.

We also call for the employment of all available procedures, Polish and international, that will allow people staying in the Polish border belt to apply for asylum or return to their countries of origin.


Warszawski Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej, Grupa Granica, Polska Akcja Humanitarna, Rodziny Bez Granic, Medycy na Granicy, Fundacja Ocalenie, Polski Czerwony Krzyż, Fundacja Polskie Forum Migracyjne, Wspólnota Sant’Egidio, Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka, Strefa Wolno-Słowa, Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej, Fundusz Obywatelski im. Henryka Wujca.

The manifesto is supported by:

Amnesty International Polska, Fundacja Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę, Fundacja Pomocy Humanitarnej „Redemptoris Missio”, Stowarzyszenie „NIGDY WIĘCEJ”, Stowarzyszenie Lepszy Świat, Fundacja WWF Polska, Grupa Zagranica, Otwarta Rzeczpospolita – Stowarzyszenie przeciw Antysemityzmowi i Ksenofobii, Krytyka Polityczna / Stowarzyszenie im. Stanisława Brzozowskiego, Fundacja Centrum im. Prof. Bronisława Geremka, Liberté!, American Jewish Committee Central Europe (Komitet Żydów Amerykańskich – Biuro na Europę Środkową), Pracownia Etnograficzna, Association Défense de la Démocratie en Pologne, Fundacje PERYFERIA Ośrodek Solidarności Międzykulturowej, Fundacja Przyjaciele Alego, Fundacja ADRA Polska, Galicyjska Fundacja Rozwój i Edukacja, Fundacja Panoptykon, Stowarzyszenia Inicjatywa Dąbrowska, Ogólnopolska Federacja Organizacji Pozarządowych, Fundacja TVN, Fundacja Służby Rzeczypospolitej, Fundacji Przyjaciele Alego, Fundacja im. ks. Jana Kaczkowskiego.

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A wide coalition of social organisations and informal groups urges the government to immediately admit medical and humanitarian aid to the emergency zone. Saving people’s lives on the border is now an absolute priority. Organisations specialised in providing aid have declared their readiness to act. The Polish government prevents them from entering the zone.

If you object to this situation, act. This is what you can do right now:

  1. Talk about the border crisis with family, friends and neighbours. If you come across information about starving, cold women, men and children on social media, pass it on. Help others see their suffering and understand the causes of this situation! Distribute messages coming directly from aid organisations. Remember that mass media can distort the real picture.
  1. The Primate of Poland called the refugees our brothers and fellowmen.  Address the representatives of the Church, starting with your parish, urging them to speak out in defence of those who suffer and to engage in solving the crisis on the border.
  1. Help those who help. Follow the activities of selected organisations (addresses below), answer their appeals and donate money to fundraisers.
  1. 4. Sign petitions, write e-mails to decision-makers, ask celebrities to speak in public. Use any form available to submit the request to the Polish authorities: Humanitarian aid in the emergency zone now!
  1. Show solidarity. In the evening, put a green light on your window (a lamp, a lantern, a candle etc.), so that others can see your support for people suffering on the border. It is an initiative inspired by Kamil Syller’s action.
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Contact us:

Contact for the media:

FIND OUT MORE AT INVOLVED ORGANISATIONS (materials mostly in Polish, but contact possible also in English):

Polski Czerwony Krzyż

Polish Humanitarian Action

Fundusz Obywatelski im. Henryka Wujca

Rodziny Bez Granic

Fanpage Medyków Na Granicy

Klub Inteligencji Katolickiej


Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka

Fundacja Polskie Forum Migracyjne

Strefa Wolno-Słowa

Stowarzyszenie Interwencji Prawnej

Grupa Granica
Fanpage Grupy Granica

Fundacja Ocalenie

Amnesty International

Fundacja Dajemy
Dzieciom Siłę

Fundacja im. ks. Jana Kaczkowskiego