PRCS, ICRC Help Reconnect Families

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Abrar ul Haq says PRCS operates with a mission to alleviate human suffering, under the “Trace the Face” initiative of RFL, Family Links Network has reconnected more than 245 families who had been separated along the migratory route to Europe.

ISLAMABAD, SEPT 17 (DNA) – Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in collaboration, facilitated families from across Pakistan to attend the International Families Conference from 7-8 September organized by the ICRC Central Tracing Agency together with the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world. The local conference hub at the PRCS national headquarters hosted families with a relative separated or being sought as a result of international migration, mainly towards Europe. 

In Pakistan, the PRCS and ICRC work closely with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies throughout the world under the Restoring Family Links (RFL) program to help people separated from their families or without news of them following natural disasters, international migration, emergencies as well as in other situations of humanitarian need. 

The event provided families and practitioners the space to connect with a global support network, to share their experiences, and to inspire each other to take effective action for themselves, families and wider community. It also called to attention the coping strategies for the psychological distress these families experience. 

In a statement on the occasion, PRCS Chairman Abrar ul Haq said, “Losing contact with a loved one is an unimaginable pain. Under the Trace the Face initiative of RFL, Family Links Network has reconnected more than 245 families who had been separated along the migratory route to Europe. PRCS operates with a mission to alleviate human suffering, and we make it a priority to respond to the RFL needs of separated families.”  

The conference took place in a hybrid format, and featured online and face-to-face sessions, panel discussions, and live-streamed debates. Families from Pakistan participated in the conference and shared their experiences.  A representative from the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also in attendance and provided guidance on the different efforts and procedural mechanisms that can be employed in the search of nationals overseas.  

Speaking to the families at the conference, Dragana Kojic, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Pakistan, said, “I cannot imagine the magnitude of your grief. The ICRC and PRCS remain invested in the project of restoring family links, and it is my deepest hope that we are able to convey good news to you and help you reconnect with your loved ones.”  The Family Links Network is truly global in scope, with dedicated volunteers, members and staff who work directly with family members, communities and local authorities to find and reconnect separated loved ones. In Pakistan, families looking for relatives in Europe can  visit www.tracetheface.org – an online tool to assist people looking for their lost relatives.