IMPORTANT NOTE: Relocation of the Tracing Service Hamburg Office

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ملاحظة هامة: نقل مكتب هامبورغ لخدمات البحث عن المفقودين

ملاحظة هامة
ستجد هنا وصفًا لكيفية الوصول إلى الموقع الجديد لخدمة البحث عن المفقودين التابعة للصليب الأحمر الألماني في هامبورغ.

Trace the Face -
Photo-based online tracing Family Links Poster
Trace the Face -
also on Facebook 
Link to the international Tracing Service Network Family Links Network

GRC Tracing Service in your area:

Trace the Face - Online tracing with photos of missing people along the migration routes to Europe

Armed conflict, political unrest, lack of food and water and other stressful circumstances: there are many reasons why, every day, people set out from Africa, the Middle East and Asia on a dangerous and uncertain journey. However, all these people are driven by the hope of a dignified life in Europe.

People from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Syria, Somalia or Iraq – at some point they all end up somewhere on the outer borders of the European Union while fleeing their home countries. From there they continue their perilous journeys towards Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany etc. By boat, by lorry, on foot.

The Tracing Service of the German Red Cross is increasingly confronted with the fates of missing people along the modern migration routes to Europe. Refugees and migrants, who have been separated under dramatic circumstances from their family members on the way to Europe will try everything to be reunited with parents, children, brothers and sisters, and other relatives.

The tracing service network of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement operates worldwide and is becoming more and more important, especially in light of these developments.

Trace the Face - Photo-based online tracing for people aged 15 and up

As part of the project Trace the Face of the International Committee of the Red Cross and 28 European Red Cross Societies (as at August 2016), the GRC Tracing Service is now exploring new options for international tracing: online by photo. People aged 15 and up trying to trace family members, from whom they have been separated while fleeing, can, via the national Red Cross Society of the country in which they are living at the time of their tracing efforts, have their photo published on the website of the ICRC. The photo is supplemented by the phrase "I am looking for my sister, my brother, my family".

Users can narrow down the number of the displayed pictures by applying research criteria such as age, gender and country of origin. As soon as the person being searched for or persons in contact with him or her learn about the search, they can use a prepared reply form to contact the Tracing Service of the Red Cross that is already in contact with the person that initiated the search. The country where this Red Cross Tracing Service is based is not revealed in order to protect the person who initiated the search from unwanted approaches. The whereabouts of the persons initiating a search remain anonymous in the context of photo-based online tracing. In July 2016 1.400 persons were already using the new possibility of photo-based online tracing with their photo.

On a monthly basis the ICRC is using a selection of photographs displayed on the website to design a new poster, also referring to the new option of online search, and furthermore, including contact details of the responsible Red Cross Tracing Service. This poster will be distributed as widely as possible within the countries participating in the scheme and will be put up conspicuously at places known to be frequented by refugees and migrants.

This international initiative of the Tracing Services has already proven successful and provides a complement to the hitherto existing tracing methods. Read some success stories here.

Do you want to publish your own photo on the website? The staff of your local GRC Tracing Service support centre will be happy to assist you.

You will find further information in Arabic, English, Dari, Pashtu, Somali, French and Spanish here: We would also like to refer to our multilingual publications that we happily provide you with if requested.

Trace the Face -kids-: Secure photo tracing for children and youth

To provide a secure photo tracing service for unaccompanied minor refugees, Trace the Face -kids- can now be accessed through a new area on which is not publicly available. Photos of children and youth looking for relatives and vice versa can only be published on the platform by the Red Cross Tracing Services. The images can then only be viewed together with a Red Cross Tracing Service employee. This way the Red Cross helps relatives to get back in touch.

Children and youth who have been separated from their family in Europe and parents searching for their children can use the photo-based tracing service at any time by contacting their local Tracing Service support centre. Get our contact details here.