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Activities of the ICRC's Central Tracing Agency in the Balkans during the Kosovar refugee crisis

31-03-2000 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 837, by Thierry Schreyer

Abstract of the article " L'action de l'Agence centrale de recherches du CICR dans les Balkans durant la crise des réfugiés kosovars "

Any mass movement of civilians leaving their homes under the pressure of war creates a number of urgent humanitarian problems. Refugees have to be fed and given shelter and medical care, etc. However, refugees also want to know the whereabouts of and what happened to relatives who stayed at home, were lost on the way or were arrested. It is the task of the ICRC's Central Tracing Agency to restore contact between the victims of conflict situations and, if necessary, to help reunite separated family members, especially children and their parents. The article deals with the last chapter of the Balkan crisis, with its immense and rapid flow of refugees out of Kosovo, and describes the Central Tracing Agency's response to it.