WARSAW, Poland - Poland's top church leader is defending the existence of "baby boxes" where mothers can anonymously abandon unwanted newborns, in reaction to a recent UN call to ban the practice.

Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, the Roman Catholic primate of Poland, said the so-called "windows of life" save lives and form part of the country's traditions.

Kowalczyk, in comments made Sunday on the private TVN station, said Poland has "its own identity, its own culture and its own conscience."

His comments come after the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child said in November that baby boxes should be banned, an agenda it is pushing at the European Parliament.

The UN says the boxes deny children the right to know who their parents are.