Tracing service provides support to the victims of armed conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies, and enables restoring and maintaining family links between family members, that are separated due to conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies.
Restoring Family Links (RFL) is a general term which relates to series of activities with the aim to prevent forced separation of family members and their disappearance, as well reestablishing and maintaining contacts between the family members and clarifying the faith of persons who were reported as missing. These activities are often connected to psycho-social, legal and other support to the families and affected persons, for social programs as well as the programs which provide services related to resettlement and reintegration.
The Red Cross is the only organization in the country that provides services of restoring family links, which makes it different from any other governmental or non-governmental organization in the country. That was the reason why the Council of Ministers recognized the significance of the specific mandate of Red Cross to provide services of restoring family links through the Tracing service work, in in particular situations when a family contact is broken, and standard means of communication are destroyed or do not give any results.
For all persons in BiH and abroad who lost contact with their family, and there is a certain degree of urgency and humanitarian reasons (disease, old age, weakness), Tracing Service, for the purpose of assisting in restoring family links, enables sending of Red Cross family messages and initiating tracing requests when post services or other methods of communication did not give results. Also, in cases of special humanitarian need the Tracing Service also provides services of transfer of documents and families reunion.
RC TRACING SERVICE PROVIDES THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:
- Forwarding family news – exchange of Red Cross messages
- Accepting and processing of Tracing Requests – tracing of persons who have gone missing in past wars
- Family Reunions
- Forwarding documents and personal belongings
- Providing certificates from existing archives related to the past wars.
BENEFICIARIES OF RCSBH TRACING SERVICE MAY BE
- Families of missing persons
- Internally displaced persons
- Unaccompanied children/orphans
- Asylum seekers
- Other categories of population, according to their needs
Beside international legally binding documents (Geneva conventions from 12. August 1949. Additional protocol I and II from1977., resolutions of international conferences and the Law on the Red Cross Society of BIH, article 12 ), Council of Ministers BiH, officially approved, by the middle of September 2006. the Rulebook on Tracing service of the Red Cross Society of BiH.