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Trace the Face - Southern AfricaRestoring Family Links

Background information

Every year, National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies are contacted by hundreds of families who have lost contact with their relatives somewhere within the Southern African region.

The Tracing Services of the National Societies try to help these families to find their family members. However, the search is often difficult, because for example:

  • people are still on the move and do not have a fixed home

  • people are sometimes not officially registered in the country they are currently staying in

  • language differences affect the way of registration, names cannot be found easily, or people change their names, once they arrive to another country.

Now, the Restoring Family Links Network would like to give families the chance to look for their loved ones in an active way: families can have their photo published on our website or on Red Cross posters in several countries in Southern Africa.

The publication of photos will give family members the possibility to contact a Red Cross office and to get in contact with their family who tries to find them.


Before your photo can be published, please check if you meet the following criteria:

  • The family separation is due to migration, displacement as a result of conflict, natural disaster or other humanitarian situation.

  • You must have first checked the photos already published in the website in case any of your family members is looking for you.

  • You should be willing to open a tracing request and able to supply information related to the tracing of the family member.

  • You should be willing to look for a family member whom you think may have disappeared while migrating to Southern Africa.

Please note:
  • Only your photo and the nature of the family link to your missing relative are published, all other information (your name, etc.) will be kept confidential.

  • Your personal data will not be published without your written approval and consent.

  • People from all around the world will be able to see your photo. If they recognize you and are willing to contact you, they can contact us through a form available for them on the website.

  • Once we receive this form, we will contact you and discuss the next steps.

  • You can always decide to delete your photo from the website. Just inform us and we will take the necessary steps to do so.

  • Minors are welcome to contact us and we will keep their data for tracing but their pictures will not be published.

Contact the Red Cross or Red Crescent

Open contact details

Family Links Website

This website belongs to familylinks.icrc.org. It is dedicated to the people missing in connection with conflicts, natural disasters or migration.