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Iran: National Societies share ideas on helping migrants stay in touch

15-01-2013 News Release 13/03

Tehran (ICRC) – From 15 to 17 January, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran are jointly hosting a meeting in Tehran on helping migrants maintain ties with family members.

"Migrants face a variety of problems, including separation from their families, that make them very vulnerable," said Olivier Dubois, deputy head of the Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division of the ICRC. "The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has a unique network of National Societies along migration routes that are committed to providing humanitarian services to migrants in need, regardless of their status."

Representatives of the National Societies of Afghanistan, Australia, Britain, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Pakistan, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and of the Platform for European Red Cross Cooperation on Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PERCO) will attend the meeting.

"The ICRC and the Iranian Red Crescent Society have years of experience in this area. Since the beginning of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, the ICRC has exchanged millions of Red Cross messages between prisoners of war and their families in cooperation with the Iranian Red Crescent," said Joanna Durao Caruio Trindade, an ICRC delegate in Iran. "This is the first time that the two organizations are jointly holding an event in which the National Societies directly concerned by migration routes gather to discuss their current practices, identifying strengths and limitations, in order to improve the services they can offer the migrants most in need."

Issues such as the recognition of the needs of migrants and the identification of the main challenges that National Societies are facing in their efforts to meet those needs are being discussed, and the tools and methodology used by participants to trace members of migrant families are being shared. Now as ever, strengthened cooperation among National Societies and ICRC delegations is a top priority.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has a 10-year strategy to better meet the needs of people separated from their families. The strategy involves enhanced coordination and cooperation within the Movement, and strengthened support for tracing services.

For further information, please contact:
Mojgan Mohammad, ICRC Tehran, tel: +98 21 22 64 58 21-4 or +98 919 830 11 61