Iran: National Societies meet to discuss how migrants can keep in touch

25 February 2016

Tehran (ICRC) –The Iranian Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hosted a conference on helping migrants maintain ties with family members. This was the second conference on restoring family links to be held in Tehran, and attended by National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from around the world.

The participants came from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Germany, Great Britain, Iraq, Italy, Pakistan, Sweden, Syria and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. They discussed how migrants could be made more aware of the services provided by the Family Links Network and how these services could be improved.

"Iran has taken in millions of migrants, including refugees, over the past few decades. So the Iranian Red Crescent values the way the ICRC, the International Federation and the National Societies work together to provide humanitarian services," said Mr Shahabeddin Mohammadi Araghi, the under-secretary-general of the Iranian Red Crescent. "This second conference paves the way for further cooperation and constructive discussions on migration. It will really have an impact on how we as a Movement respond to the problems facing migrants."

Gholam Nabi Yousufzai, a tracing coordinator from the Afghan Red Crescent Society, said: "Many of the migrants heading to Europe these days are from Afghanistan. They often lose contact with their families along the way. This conference was a great opportunity to meet people involved in restoring family links and talk about best practice, so that are better equipped now to meet the needs of migrants."

During the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in December, the ICRC, the International Federation and the National Societies recognized that more needed to be done to keep migrants safe. The Family Links Network, made up of the ICRC and 190 National Societies, is working to prevent migrants from disappearing and to put those who have lost touch back in contact with their families.

For further information, please contact:
Mojgan Mohammad, ICRC Tehran, tel: +98 21 22 64 58 21-4 or +98 919 830 11 61
Hassan Esfandiar, IRCS, tel: +98 21 886626 01 or +98 912 402 3530