Barnevernet

Norwegian consul must leave Poland within a week

Poland has given the Norwegian consul a week to leave the country after Norway declared Polish consul Sławomir Kowalski Persona Non Grata.

In January, Norway decided to ask Poland to bring home the consul for his campaign against the Norwegian children’s agency “Barnevernet”. The consul, Sławomir Kowalski, was accused of “inappropriate behaviour" towards Norwegian officials.

Poland however backed its diplomat, an individual who was awarded the title of “Consul of the year” in 2016 for his work on the rights of children, and asked for the matter to be resolved by dialogue. On Monday, the Norwegian authorities declared the Polish consul to be PNG. Polish deputy foreign minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk declared that the Norwegian decision was totally inappropriate and said that reciprocal measures would be taken immediately. Two hours later the order for the Norwegian consul to leave was issued.

The mother and the consul were denied the right to see the children and when they protested the police were called

The Polish Ministry of Justice voiced its disproval of the action taken by Norway and promised it would continue the work of fighting to protect the rights of Polish children with Mr Kowalski’s successor. Since the arrival of Law and Justice (PiS) into power in 2015, the ministry has been working to protect the rights of Polish children in Germany and Scandinavia in cases where Polish parents have had their parental rights removed. 

According to media reports, consul Kowalski was involved in an incident with Norwegian police in the town Hamar when he tried to help a Polish mother contact her four children in a Norwegian facility to which the kids had been taken. The mother and the consul were denied the right to see the children and when they protested the police were called. Kowalski was accused of interfering in the work of the center and of obstructing the police.  

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