Delivering effective and efficient Restoring Family Links (RFL) services requires the collection and processing of large amounts of personal data. A Restoring Family Links Code of Conduct on Data Protection was adopted in 2015 in order to guarantee the right to privacy and the protection of personal data of individuals using these services.
The Code sets out the minimum principles, commitments and procedures that personnel of the ICRC, National Societies and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) must comply with when processing personal data within the framework of RFL activities. It seeks to adhere to the most stringent data protection rules, and in particular with European Union law.
As recalled in Restoring Family Links Strategy for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement 2020–2025, the evolving landscape in which the components of the Family Links Network operate requires adherence to high data protection standards as well as careful and regular assessment of the impact of new technologies on RFL services.
The Code, which is incorporated into the Movement's main body of RFL guidance, addresses specific data protection challenges in RFL activities, including applicable legal basis, data transfer within the Family Links Network or to third parties, data publication, and data protection by design and by default.
A Resolution on Restoring Family Links and data privacy was adopted by States and National Societies at the 33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which took place from 9–12 December 2019 in Geneva.