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.

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GRC Tracing Service in your area:

Tasks of the National Information Bureau

The National Information Bureau of the GRC Tracing Service helps family members in armed conflicts and disasters.

Tasks in armed conflicts
Tasks in the event of disasters

Humanitarian tasks in armed conflicts

Zaddiqine, southern Lebanon, 2006. A father and his children walking through their neighbourhood that has been destroyed by bombs. (T.A. Voeten/IKRK)

International humanitarian law, derived from the Geneva Convention, puts in place specific rules of humanity during armed conflicts. It cannot completely prevent the suffering of the victims, but it can oblige countries to act appropriately in accordance with its standards. In this way, international humanitarian law guarantees the protection of people who are not involved or no longer involved in the hostilities (wounded, prisoners and civilians) and imposes restrictions on the parties involved in a conflict with regard to how the conflict is conducted. Prisoners of war and civilian internees in particular often have no protection in the state of emergency when an armed conflict occurs and for this reason require the support of the Red Cross.

With the passing of the act on 21 August 1954, the Federal Republic of Germany acceded to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 (see BGBI. 1954, Part II, page 781).

The conventions obliged the signatories, in the event of a conflict or occupation of the country, to set up a National Information Bureau (AAB; see the Third Geneva Convention, Article 122; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 136).

Via the AAB, information shall be exchanged between the parties involved in the conflict regarding the prisoners of war and other protected persons (such as civilian internees) being held.

Disasters and major incidents

Flooded road sign during the Elba floods in 2002. (DRK)

The National Information Bureau of the GRC also provides information in the event of disasters and major incidents.

This task arises from the humanitarian role of the GRC as a national Red Cross Society within Germany and within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as well as auxiliary to the German authorities in accordance with § 1 of the German Red Cross Act.

Operationally and tactically, this task is assigned to the GRC’s regional and district branches as Regional and District Offices for Disaster Tracing Inquiries within the GRC. In the event of a crisis, they set up a so-called Information Office for Families which collects information regarding injured and uninjured parties and distributes information to concerned family members.

Through agreements under public law between the lower administrative authorities and the GRC branches based on the disaster protection legislation in the respective Federal states, the tasks are exercised as being part of the emergency response not provided by the police.