Senegal: the silent suffering of the families of missing migrants

13 November 2019

In Senegal, many families are suffering because they are plunged into uncertainty after the disappearance of a close party on the path of migration. In addition to the need to know the fate of missing persons and the psychological and psychosocial problems associated with ambiguous loss, the consequences of these separations can be financial, legal or administrative.

The testimonies in this video show the dismay of a father in tears, a wife or a child who writes to his unknown father.

Established in 2014, the accompanying program of the Senegalese Red Cross (CRS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has enabled nearly 300 families of missing migrants to gradually regain a certain psychological and psychosocial balance. These families also received financial support to start an income-generating activity that could cover their basic needs.


The main objective of the program is to strengthen the capacity of individuals and families to cope with the difficulties caused by the disappearance of one or more of their relatives and to gradually regain their psychological and psychosocial balance. This includes teaching them to live with uncertainty, including using their own resources as well as those available in their community.