Tracing. Connecting. Reuniting.
The Tracing Service is a core service of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement. Its mission is to preserve the humanitarian right to know how one’s relatives are doing or what has become of them. As early as 1859, Red Cross founder Henry Dunant collected messages from injured and dying soldiers on the battlefields of Solferino and informed their relatives. The GRC Tracing Service has been carrying out its duties within the GRC since 1945.
The GRC Tracing Service has been dealing with the consequences of the Second World War, the Iron Curtain and the division of Germany for decades. The fate of 1.3 million people has still not been conclusively clarified.
Even today, the GRC Tracing Service is a contact point for people who do not know where their relatives are due to armed conflicts, catastrophes, flight, expulsion and migration. The GRC Tracing Service helps people who have been separated involuntarily from their relatives and often find themselves in different countries in their wish to live together again.
“Tracing Service” is a generic term that describes a range of tasks aimed at preventing the separation of family members and supporting them in restoring and maintaining contact and in reuniting, as well as tasks aimed at clarifying the fate and whereabouts of missing persons.
These tasks may be combined with other support services, such as the provision of legal, administrative and material assistance to families.
The term “Restoring Family Links (RFL)” is used as a generic term for all tracing service tasks.