What is discrimination?

Discrimination is a phenomenon consisting in unfair and biased differentiating of people due to their personal feature, such as, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnic origin, religion. Discrimination is most commonly a behavior that results in a person being treated differently (negatively, harmfully) than others in a comparable situation. Discrimination is a form of unjustified and biased, stereotype-based marginalization of individuals or social groups characterized by a specific shared feature.

We can encounter discrimination in many spheres of our life. Each of us can become both its victim and a witness of it. It is important to remember that discriminatory behavior may be extremely varied – manifesting itself both in specific actions towards a person as well as in formulated statements, jokes, and gestures.

Unequal, inferior treatment of various social groups characterized by a specific shared feature most often results from numerous prejudices and stereotypes. These involve a simplified, subjective, and harmful perception of others. Relying on stereotypes—certain simplified, ingrained, and unsupported by any objective factors, beliefs about people with specific characteristics— constitutes the first link contributing to the development of discriminatory and harmful attitudes in society.

Types of discrimination:


Any unwanted behavior whose purpose or effect is to violate the dignity of a physical person and create an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, humiliating, or offensive atmosphere towards them.

Sexual harassment

Any unwanted behavior of a sexual nature towards a physical person or related to gender, whose purpose or effect is to violate the dignity of that person, especially by creating an intimidating, hostile, demeaning, humiliating, or offensive atmosphere towards them; such behavior may include physical, verbal, or non-verbal elements.

Encouraging discrimination

One of the manifestations of discrimination is encouraging others to violate the principle of equal treatment or instructing them to do so. Therefore, urging others to behave in a discriminatory manner is itself illegal.


Persistent persecution, harassment, and intimidation, including the use of psychological violence against subordinates or colleagues in the workplace. Its aim is to: humiliate, ridicule, lower self-esteem, or eliminate and isolate employees from their coworkers.

The International Labour Organization defines the concept of mobbing as offensive behavior through vengeful, cruel, malicious, or humiliating attempts to harm an individual or a group of workers.

Hate speech

It involves the dissemination of verbal and non-verbal expressions that spread, promote, and justify hatred towards specific individuals or groups, often distinguished by features such as ethnic origin, skin color, gender, gender identity, nationality, age, or ideology. Hate speech can take various forms, from spreading harmful content on social media and inciting hatred or violence, to publicly disseminating information, texts, derogatory or humiliating images/materials about certain individuals, and fostering an atmosphere conducive to organized violence.

II. Anti-discrimination procedures at WUT

The process of addressing instances of unequal treatment and discrimination, including harassment and mobbing, at Warsaw University of Technology is carried out in three stages: preventive, conciliatory, and formal.


  • Issuing internal policies at WUT (policies regarding anti-discrimination procedures at WUT*);
  • Communication (social campaigns);
  • Training courses (targeted at specific interest groups). 


Adequate implementation of an explanatory procedure, which may lead to conciliatory or disciplinary actions upon notification/receiving information about the occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon/conflict, such as:

  1. Reporting by the concerned party or at the request of university authorities/organizational units of WUT of a case for mediation to amicably resolve the conflict;
  2. In the case of no mediation resolutions or when the interested party sees no possibility of conducting mediation, they can file a complaint within 4 days of the conclusion of the mediation process with the university authorities, initiating the formal stage of the procedure: 
  • Initiation of an explanatory procedure between the perpetrator and the aggrieved party (at this stage, there is still a chance for mediation and amicable resolution of the matter/remedy);
  • Initiation of the appropriate disciplinary procedure, involving the accused and the disciplinary spokesperson before the disciplinary committee.


Deciding on disciplinary liability as provided for in Article 276(1) or Article 307 of the Act of July 20, 2018. The Law on Higher Education and Science or Articles 108-113 in conjunction with Article 18 [3a], Article 94 [3] of the Labour Code, and internal regulations of WUT.

In the case of students- disciplinary liability is incurred for violating the regulations applicable at the university and for acts that compromise the dignity of a student.

In the case of doctoral students- liability is incurred for violating the regulations applicable at the doctoral school and for acts that compromise the dignity of a doctoral student.

Regulations on anti-discrimination procedures at WUT:
  1. Regulation no. 27/2022 of the Warsaw University of Technology Rector of April 5 2022, concerning the prevention of unequal treatment and mobbing of employees at Warsaw University of Technology.
  2. Regulation no. 28/2022 of the Warsaw University of Technology Rector of April 5, 2022, concerning the prevention of unequal treatment of students, doctoral students, participants in postgraduate studies, and other forms of education, those providing services based on civil law contracts, volunteers, interns, trainees, and retirees of WUT).