We trace missing family members

Marko Kokic
Kuvaaja: Marko Kokic

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement help families separated by various disasters and conflict situations. We trace lost family members and forward messages in conflict zones.


  • Approximately 300 tracing cases are initiated with the Finnish Red Cross annually
  • Tracings are carried out in over 30 countries
  • The Finnish Red Cross forwards approximately 50 Red Cross Messages annually
  • Finnish Red Cross also receives Red Cross Messages from overseas, approximately 50 per year

All Red Cross and Red Crescent National Socitieties throughout the world participate in the Restoring Family links. The tracing work is being carried out everywhere. The Finnish Red Cross is part of this global network.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) heads the tracing work in the cases of natural disasters and conflicts. ICRC conducts annually over 10 000 new tracing and forwards more than 500 000 Red Cross Messages.

The Red Cross forwards messages to crisis zones when the regular communication networks have broken down.  

How to conduct a trace?

The enquirer of a tracing request or the sender of a Red Cross Message should fill out a form specifically designed for this purpose. This is then forwarded to the Finnish Red Cross office, who in turn forwards them to the country of destination.

The instructions listed below provide more information on the criteria for the tracing requests and Red Cross Messages. The forms and instructions on how to fill them can be downloaded as a pdf-file.

Photo-based online tracing

A number of National Red Cross Societies in Europe, including the Finnish Red Cross, are publishing photos of people looking for their missing relatives in the hope of reconnecting families. Learn more: http://www.tracetheface.org/

Family Links Website