CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Rafah Al-Hadidi
Amman (ICRC): A two-day regional meeting on Restoring Family Links began in Amman on Wednesday. It was co-organized by the ICRC and the Jordan Red Crescent Society.
The first-of-its-kind meeting was attended by 40 participants, including 22 from 13 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies from the Middle East and North Africa, and 18 from nine ICRC delegations.
Participants exchanged experiences, best practices, and lessons learnt, aimed at strengthening cooperation on family links issues. In addition, participants took part in consultations on the new Restoring Family Links strategy for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to be implemented as of 2019.
“Behind every missing person or separated family, there are loved ones looking for answers, whether they are separated by conflict or natural disaster or migration. We must do our utmost to establish their whereabouts, restore contact between them and if need be reunite them,” said Mr Juerg Montani, head of the ICRC delegation in Jordan. “The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has long-standing experience and expertise in this field.”
Dr Mohammed Mitlek Al-Hadid, president of the Jordan Red Crescent Society, said, “In order to alleviate human suffering, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement must unify and intensify its efforts in the field of restoring family links. Through the use of modern technology, we can reach out to people affected by conflicts, disasters or migration.”
Authorities have the primary responsibility, in accordance with international law, to protect family unity and prevent family separation. The global Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement network on Restoring Family Links plays a vital role in helping the authorities, through its family links website, by addressing the needs of concerned family members.
Facts and figures:
During the period from January to October 2017, the ICRC in Jordan:
- Provided 9,940 free-of-charge phone calls to Syrian refugees in Zaatari and Azraq camps, helping them to re-establish and maintain contact with family members in Syria and elsewhere, in cooperation with the Jordan Red Crescent.
- Exchanged 939 Red Cross messages containing family news and 141 oral greetings (salamat) between detainees and their relatives in Jordan and elsewhere.
- Issued 78 travel documents to refugees, upon the request of the UNHCR and certain embassies, helping them resettle or rejoin their families in third countries.
For further information, please contact:
Hala Shamlawi, ICRC Amman, Tel: +962 777 398 794
Visit our website: www.icrc.org and www.familylinks.icrc.org