Red Cross launches website to help trace missing people
IT HAS BEEN FOUR MONTHS since fighting broke out in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province, but for families whose loved ones are still missing, the wait seems never-ending.
In an effort to reunite these families, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) recently launched an online page (https:// familylinks.icrc.org/philippines) that helps trace missing persons.
Camilla Matteucci, head of the ICRC team working with the PRC to reunite families in the Philippines, said there are many possible causes of separation during a conflict situation. “People could be trapped by the fighting, detained or even killed. They could be in an evacuation centre but not have the means to contact their kin.”
“At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that families have a right to know what has happened to their loved ones, and wherever possible, be reunited with them.
Our tracing website offers a platform for people to share information about their missing relatives and request our help in tracing them,” she said.
The website, Matteucci said, supplements existing tracing services such as the 12 PRC welfare desks in evacuation centres in Marawi and Iligan cities. The information shared by families with the Red Cross remains confidential. Since the beginning of the Marawi conflict, the Red Cross has received 402 tracing requests, 179 of which are still being looked into.