You have a missing relative? Check this out
MANILA, Philippines – Over 4 decades ago, Libyan national Abdussalem Al-Naji left his country following a coup that brought dictator Moammar Gadaffi to power. Abdussalem settled in a much peaceful country, Switzerland.
Abdusallem totally lost contact with family and friends. He's now 72. In May this year, however, his brother-in-law looked for him and wrote him a letter. “My dear brother, I pray to God to reunite us as soon as possible. I am in good health; the only thing missing is to see you again,” said his brother-in-law Ahmed.
The letter, which Ahmed sent through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Benghazi, Libya, reached Abdusallem through the Swiss Red Cross.
Abdusallem reunited with his family in May – something that the ICRC wants to replicate for other families separated by war, disaster, and migration.
The ICRC on Tuesday, November 13, launched the website familylinks.icrc.org, which aims to help in reuniting members of dispersed families.
By making users key in a missing person's place of origin and his probable whereabouts, the website refers relatives to Red Cross and Red Crescent societies who can help them. The Red Cross and Red Crescent groups look for their missing relatives through their networks locally.
“Staying in touch with other members of one's family has a huge effect on a person's well-being and their ability to cope with a crisis,” explained Oliver Dubois, deputy head of ICRC's Central Tracing Agency and Protection Division.
Dubois added that aside from helping people look for missing relatives, familylinks.icrc.org may also help humanitarian organizations and welfare service providers. “Under international law, people have the right to be informed of the fate of missing relatives,” explained the ICRC.
Millions get displaced from their native lands every year. In 2011 alone, nearly 15-M people got displaced due to floods, storms, earthquakes, and other disasters.
In southern Philippines, up to 750,000 have also been displaced due to conflict triggered by a decades-long Muslim rebellion. – Rappler.com