Meeting with the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Poland
On January 17, 2022, the Commissioner for Human Rights met with the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Poland, Kevin Allen. The main coordinator for scientific cooperation in the Office of the Commissioner, Maciej Grześkowiak, and the head of the Department for the Rights of Migrants and National Minorities, Agnieszka Szmajdzińska, also participated in the talks. On behalf of the UNHCR, Kevin Allen was accompanied by Katarzyna Oyrzanowska. The meeting was devoted to the situation of refugees in Poland, the humanitarian crisis on the border with Belarus, the detention of foreigners in Poland and the activities undertaken in this regard by the CHR and UNHCR, as well as the possibilities of interinstitutional cooperation. The activities undertaken by the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the field of the rights of persons applying for international protection were also discussed. The CHR paid particular attention to the jurisprudence of administrative courts in cases concerning the procedure of the so-called "pushbacks", i.e. the immediate withdrawal of foreigners to the border, bypassing the existing asylum and return procedures. Actions for people affected by the crisis in Ukraine caused by the war and state aid for Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland were also discussed.
Kevin J. Allen was appointed the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Poland in August 2022. He has been associated with the UN Refugee Agency since 2004. Previously, Mr. Allen served in senior management and external liaison positions at UNHCR in Geneva ( 2019-22); led rescue efforts for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh (2017-18); and served as UNHCR representative in Nepal (2016-17) and Tajikistan (2014-16).