Guidance Notes on National Mechanisms for Missing Persons

Guidance Notes on National Mechanisms for Missing Persons

Call for comments.
Article 07 April 2021

Comments for public consultation have now been closed. The ICRC Missing Persons Project is grateful for the comments received on the National Missing Persons Mechanisms Toolbox, and will keep you posted on the continuation of this process.

The ICRC Missing Persons Project, launched in 2018, is currently developing practical guidance related to the creation of national mechanisms for persons missing in relation to armed conflicts and other situations of violence.

Practitioners, experts and representatives of families from around the world gathered in Nicosia, Cyprus in October 2019, to share insights and lessons learned from their work with such mechanisms in the context of armed conflict and other situations of violence.

The expert meeting, organized by the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus and the Missing Persons Project of the ICRC, provided for rich exchange and learning and enabled participants to identify common principles and features considered to be fundamental for the effective functioning of mechanisms for missing persons.

While the meeting acknowledged that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, participants agreed on the need for practical guidance and tools to support the establishment and functioning of such mechanisms and committed to engaging in a process to develop them.

A toolkit is currently under development and will include comprehensive guidance notes related to the setup and functioning of such mechanisms. These will be supplemented by different tools and relevant practices gathered by the Missing Persons Project.

The first set of guidance notes – listed below - is now open for public consultation.

We invite all interested parties to submit their written comments on these draft guidance notes.

All submissions:

  • Should be submitted electronically to this dedicated email address:
  • Should have in the subject line of the email: GUIDANCE NOTES RELATED TO THE CREATION OF NATIONAL MECHANISMS FOR MISSING PERSONS - comments
  • Should be in a single document of no more than five pages. Please provide references for the comments to the corresponding guidance notes
  • Must be in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian or Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian


• Please submit comments by 16 July 2021.

About the ICRC Missing Persons Project (leaflet)

The Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a longstanding mandate and 150 years of operational experience in tracing Missing Persons and reconnecting separated families. Convinced that a worldwide joining of forces is required to improve the global response to the tragedy of missing persons and their relatives, the ICRC launched the Missing Persons Project in 2018.

In partnership with other actors, this initiative seeks to bring together experts, family representatives and other key stakeholders from around the world in order to build consensus on best practices, promote existing technical standards and develop new ones, where needed.

See the Missing Persons Project Video

See also:

  • Missing Persons Project leaflet
  • Mechanisms for Missing Persons: Clarifying the Fate and Supporting Families: publication and video