French and Spanish websites to help reunite families
28-11-2013 News Release No. 13/176
The International Committee of the Red Cross is launching French and Spanish versions of its website familylinks.icrc.org. The website is intended to help reunite families throughout the world who have been separated by conflicts, disasters or migration.
About 50,000 people, from more than a hundred countries, have visited the English version of the website since it opened in November of last year. "The French and Spanish versions will extend this service to thousands of families in many different regions of the world," explains Marianne Pecassou of the ICRC's Tracing Service in Geneva.
"People fleeing armed conflict, natural disasters or other hardships can be cut off from their families. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has a grassroots network of volunteers in virtually every corner of the world who can actively search for missing persons,” explains Ms Pecassou. "The website, now in three languages, builds on that unique service and makes it even more accessible to thousands," she adds.
The website provides information about tracing services in every part of the world including contact information for ICRC delegations and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The site also offers online tracing services in specific contexts and crises. Over 5,000 people have visited the online tracing service.
"Staying in touch with other family members has a huge effect on a person's well-being and their ability to cope with a crisis," explains Ms Pecassou. "This simple user-friendly website will put them in touch with Red Cross / Red Crescent staff and volunteers who specialize in restoring family links."
Under international law, people have the right to be informed of the fate of missing relatives. Everything possible must be done to restore contact with them and reunite them with their families.
Familylinks.icrc.org is managed by the ICRC in collaboration with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. It complements and reinforces National Societies’ websites with links to those sites on each country page. An Arabic version of familylinks.icrc.org is planned for the first half of 2014.
For further information, please contact:
Bernard Barrett, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 04 or +41 79 251 93 06