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Restoring Family Links

Tracing and restoring contact between family members is an important task of the Red Cross. The Red Cross may be able to help you restore contact with your loved ones. Anywhere in the world.


Tracing and restoring contact

War, conflict, disaster, migration or an other humanitarian emergency situation may cause family members to be separated from each other. Thanks to our neutrality we are able to gain access to many disaster and conflict areas. There is a Red Cross or Red Crescent Society in nearly every country. Through our international network we are able to trace family members worldwide. We can also send messages to your family when, due to disaster or conflict, you are unable to make contact by telephone, post or e-mail.

Personal documents

If you were visited while imprisoned, by an employee of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), we may may be able to provide confirmation of your detention. The Red Cross may also be able to forward personal documents (e.g. birth certificates) in a number of countries.


How do we help?

The Netherlands Red Cross may be able to help you if your request for tracing or restoring contact with your family meets the following criteria:

  • You reside in the Netherlands
  • You have lost contact with your family becvause of war, armed conflict, disaster, migration, of an other humanitarian situation.
  • Your aim is to restore contact with your family
  • You do not have a legal of financial reaon to seek contact with your family.

If your request does not meet to our criteria, we will refer you to the best of our ability.


What information do we need?
For tracing and restoring contact between family members, the Red Cross needs a lot of information. Our tracing volunteers will ask, among other information, for information about you and the persons searched for:

  • Full name
  • Date and place of birth
  • Last known address
  • Date and circumstance of loss of contact


In your neighbourhood
Since 1992, the Netherlands Red Cross works with tracing volunteers, throughout the country.


Independent and confidential
The Red Cross works independently of the government or other organizations. We do not disclose personal information to the government or other organizations. Our discussions with you are confidential.

Communication in your own language

It is not a problem if you do not speak Dutch or English. You can bring your own interpreter or we can arrange an interpreter for you.


Our help is free of charge
You can make use of our services for free.