How does the Red Cross help reunite families?

Topics: Worldwide, Finding Family
November 14, 2013

How does the Red Cross help reunite families?

Many families across the world are confronted with acts of violence and conflict just beyond their doorsteps, and the impact of these harrowing emergencies and disasters can result in several upsetting situations.

For some, loss of communication or separation from relatives can happen as a result of upheaval, and this can take an emotional and physical toll on individuals. Not knowing whether a loved one is alive or dead, or seeking information from officials but getting nowhere, can be a frustrating event that makes it difficult for people to find peace in their lives or gain a much-needed sense of closure.

Providing family members with information about missing loved ones and helping to facilitate the reunion of relatives is one of the most important aims of the Canadian Red Cross.

To learn more about the ways in which the Canadian Red Cross helps with finding family members who may be missing or unaccounted for, please read on.

Who are the Missing?
Individuals who are missing, have been arrested, abducted, killed, or who may have been displaced as a result of emergencies and disasters and are unable to reach loved ones are considered the missing.

Family members of a person who is considered missing and who may be living in an area affected by a humanitarian crisis often feel unsure where to turn. However, with its finding family program, the Canadian Red Cross helps more than 1,250 families each year reconnect with loved ones.

ANTE MORTEM project
The Canadian Red Cross also plays an important role in helping the global effort to restore family links for those who have been separated from loved ones as a result of emergencies and disasters through participation in the ANTE MORTEM project.

The Canadian Red Cross has worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross for the ANTE MORTEM project, which is committed to helping individuals with loved ones who went missing during the conflict in the Balkans.

At least 37,000 families were affected by the humanitarian crisis, which led to the deaths of an estimated 140,000 people. By gathering available information for relatives, the ICRC and Canadian Red Cross work to identify human remains that have been exhumed from mass graves and provide families with peace of mind.

The ANTEM MORTEM project helped Jasmine, who was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina and ultimately left the area for Canada. For 14 years, Jasmine was unsure of the fate of her brother, but with help from the Canadian Red Cross, she was able to gain a sense of closure.

"There are thousands of people just like me, who live and breathe hope and pain on a daily basis," said Jasmine. "To them I say: do not give up. Keep searching and reaching out and you may be lucky to find a kind, generous and understanding person to help you."

How you can help
Finding family members who may have been arrested, abducted, held incommunicado or displaced as a result of civil conflict or unrest is an important part of the Canadian Red Cross' work in Canada and internationally.

By providing essential support to the ICRC's operations abroad, the Canadian Red Cross helps people in the country learn the fate of loved ones whom they may have loss communication with or been separated from due to adversity.

However, this is just one of many ways that the Canadian Red Cross works to help those in need. By mobilizing the power of humanity, the Canadian Red Cross strives to offer help to vulnerable people who are affected by a variety of incidents.

To show your support for the humanitarian mission of the Canadian Red Cross, please donate online or at your local Red Cross office today. Each contribution helps you make a difference in the lives of those in need and ensure that they have access to vital resources, which can help them overcome challenges.