The Star (Nairobi)

14 November 2012

Kenya: Red Cross Website to Reunite Torn Families

INTERNATIONAL Committee of the Red Cross is set to unveil a new website to help families torn apart by war, disaster and migration find each other. The website is called familylinks.icrc.org.

"Familylinks.icrc.org will change the way people go about getting back in touch with family members they've been separated from," said Olivier Dubois, deputy head of the central tracing agency and protection division of the ICRC.

He said the website is user-friendly and is a joint venture of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies. "What makes the new familylinks.icrc.org website special is the way it combines suitable technology and unique resources," Dubois said in a press statement. "A few clicks will put them in touch with dedicated specialists who will provide personal follow-up on enquiries."

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has a grassroots network of volunteers, in almost every corner of the world, who actively search for missing persons.

Under international law, people have the right to be informed of the fate of missing relatives. Where appropriate, everything possible must be done to find out where they are, restore contact with them and reunite them with their families.

The ICRC launched its first website of this kind in 1996 in response to the Bosnia conflict. The organisation has since set up ad hoc sites in response to 23 crises, most recently in connection with last year's tsunami in Japan.

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