New technologies and new policies: the ICRC’s evolving approach to working with separated families
31-12-2012 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 888, by Olivier Dubois, Katharine Marshall and Siobhan Sparkes McNamara
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The field of humanitarian action is far from static, and the ICRC has worked over the years to evolve and respond to changing needs and changing circumstances. The past several decades have seen a proliferation of humanitarian actors, protracted, complex conflicts, and the rapid rise of new technologies that have significantly impacted how humanitarian work is done. The ICRC has been continually challenged to adapt in this changing environment, and its core work of supporting separated families – through restoration of family links and through support to the families of the missing – provides insight into ways that it has met this challenge and areas in which it may still seek to improve.
Keywords: separation, families, missing, technology, crowdsourcing, multidisciplinary, holistic, forensics.
Olivier Dubois is Deputy Head of the Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division of the ICRC. Katharine Marshall is a trainee in the Restoring Family Links and Missing Persons Unit of the ICRC. Siobhan Sparkes McNamara, is a trainee in the Restoring Family Links and Missing Persons Unit of the ICRC.