The International Day of the Disappeared, on August 30 of each year, is a day created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal representatives. At the end of 2018, we are following at least 139'000 cases of missing persons - 145’000 in June 2019 The 2018 figure was more than double in comparison to 3 years ago and while contexts like Nigeria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria account for a majority of the more 'recent' cases, we are also still following 'less recent' ones in places like Sri Lanka, Western Balkans, Lebanon and Nagorny Karabakh to name but a few. It is only a fraction of all the people believed to be missing worldwide owing to past and current armed conflicts, other situations of violence, natural disasters or migration. To respond to the needs of families, ICRC is carrying out support activities, often together with the National (respective) Society, such as through the Accompaniment program, that include economic, legal, administrative, and mental-health and psychosocial support activities. They were implemented in 13 contexts in 2018. Over 5'500 families of missing persons participated in mental health and psychosocial support activities.
Trace the Face is the tip of the iceberg of work carried out by the Movement. The first reason most migrants open Tracing Requests in Europe is after what we call a “secondary separation” – when travelling, by boat, train or other means of transport, or at borders. Others lose their phone and contacts; families back home can also be on the move. A few prevention measures can be taken by migrants themselves (memorizing phone numbers, giving each other clear meeting points in case of separation for instance) as authorities alike (keeping the family unity, guaranteeing safe passage for migration and effective asylum policies) Also, many migrants do not know about our RFL services and Trace the Face. The more people know about our services, the more people we can help and locate. In order to work on access to our services, Paris ICRC regional delegation has launched a pilot project: the Trace the Face corners. The TTF kiosks are available in French, English, Dari, Pashto, Arabic and Somali and have integrated audio guidance to facilitate user’s journey.
All our services are free.