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UNHCR Montenegro hosts police cadets to mark World Refugee Day

UNHCR Representative to Montenegro Mustafa Server Caylan welcomes future police officers. Photo: UNHCR Montenegro. 
Podgorica, 19 June 2015
A group of police cadets from the Danilovgrad Police Academy last week visited UNHCR Representation in Montenegro on the occasion of the World Refugee Day to learn more about the agency’s mandate, with a special focus on refugees and asylum seekers.
“Refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons are people like all of us, and should be treated the way we want to be treated. And their suffering demands particular attention of the police”, said Mr. Mustafa Server Caylan, UNHCR Representative in Montenegro, who welcomed students and their teachers at the UN Eco House in Podgorica.
The future law enforcement professionals got to learn about a number of aspects underlying UNHCR’s mandate, including asylum, displacement and statelessness. The purpose of the visit was to give students an insight into the issues facing refugees seeking protection in Montenegro, so that they become more sensitive in treating those fleeing war and persecution.
Police academy students learn about UNHCR at the UN Eco House.
Photo: UNHCR Montenegro
“We learned about some really important and, I believe, very relevant problems that refugees and asylum seekers confront every day. So, I think this visit was very useful, because I’m sure we’ll deal with all these issues once we start serving as police officers”, said Andjela, one of the eleven recruits who took part in the visit.
In order to make the knowledge about refugee issues more practical, UNHCR staff also arranged a study tour of the Asylum Centre in Spuž. The would-be police officers got the chance to find out about the conditions and procedures for accommodating asylum seekers.
Jelena Tomic, the Academy’s Coordinator for International Cooperation, says the numerous questions that the police recruits asked show how much they enjoyed the visit.

Students enjoyed the visit: „We now know a lot more about refugees
and asylum seekers than we did before“.  Photo: UNHCR Montenegro 

“It is very important that our future police officers understand these issues, as they will probably come across refugees and asylum seekers during their service. Now, thanks to UNHCR, they are more aware of the ordeal that these people are going through”, she added.
Also, the police cadets and their teachers took this opportunity to sign the Open Letter for ending statelessness, as part of the UNCHR’s global campaign demanding that everyone has the right to a nationality.