|Is Trace the Face available everywhere?
The Trace the Face website, where you can look for a picture of your relative, is accessible from anywhere. In addition, Red Cross offices in most European countries can upload your photo on to the site. You can also contact a Red Cross or Red Crescent office or an ICRC delegation to find out where the service is available. Even if your local Red Cross or Red Crescent office is not currently participating in Trace the Face, the staff there can still help you file a tracing request.
How it works
Why should I use Trace the Face?
Being on Trace the Face will increase your chances of finding your relative. It is currently the only online platform whose sole goal is to help migrants and their families find one another.
How can I get my picture on Trace the Face?
Go to a Red Cross or Red Crescent office or ICRC delegation in the country where you live. The staff will help you file a tracing request to try to locate your relative. They will also ask you if you want to use Trace the Face. If you do, your picture will be taken. You can choose whether your picture will be seen by the public on the TracetheFace.org website or only by the tracing services of the ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide.
Why do you need my picture, and where will it be displayed?
As the name indicates, Trace the Face uses your picture to help you find your family member. Your picture will appear on the Trace the Face website and on posters and booklets in many countries, all to increase the chances of you finding your relative. However, if you don’t want your picture to be published, it will only be visible to people in the tracing services of the ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, when they conduct a search of the internal lists and databases.
How long will I have to wait for my picture to appear?
Once your application is accepted, your picture will be uploaded on the website within a few hours. The website is the main channel for searching for and locating relatives. For the posters, however, it can take up to six months, because we get a lot of requests and there is a waiting list.
How can I get my picture removed from the website or the posters and booklets?
To get your picture removed from the website, contact the Red Cross, Red Crescent or ICRC office in the country where you live. It will be removed straight away and will no longer be printed on posters or in booklets.
Why don’t you publish a picture of my missing relative instead?
Data protection regulations in Europe are very strict. They prohibit organizations from publishing the pictures of adults without their consent. However, the tracing services of the ICRC and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies can keep a photo of your relative on file. The photo will not be displayed publicly.
Who can be involved in the tracing process?
Depending on your personal wishes and concerns, the tracing process can involve other National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, ICRC delegations, government authorities, civil-society organizations and international organizations. It remains up to you to decide whether you want your personal information to be shared or not.
What if I’m looking for a friend and not a relative?
Contact your friend’s family and ask them to contact a Red Cross, Red Crescent or ICRC office anywhere in the world to file a tracing request.
How can I support your work?
The best way to support Trace the Face is to spread the word in your community. The more people who know about it and visit the website, the greater the chances that we’ll be able to reconnect families.
What information will be shared about me?
On the website, only your picture will appear. Your name and personal details will not be provided.
With your prior consent, we will share your main identifying information (name, age, sex and birth date) with partners such as government authorities and other organizations, so that they can conduct further research to find your relative.
All other information provided when filling out the tracing request, such as where you are living or details about how you were separated from your relative, will be kept within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and will never be shared or displayed publicly.
Who can access or ask for my personal information?
With your consent, our partners can access your basic personal information, as explained above. However, only tracing officers for the ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will be able to access your full information and personal details. The tracing officer will give you more information when you start the process.
How can I be sure that my and my relative’s data will be protected?
The ICRC and the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been dealing with sensitive information for decades, with the sole objective of improving people’s lives. We follow the highest standards in data protection for our IT systems. In addition, the legal framework in Europe is very protective and respectful of privacy.
Finding a match
How will I get a reply?
If someone recognizes your picture, or if the Trace the Face network identifies a potential match, a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or an ICRC delegation will get in touch with you. For that reason, please be sure to notify us of any changes in your contact details (e.g. address, telephone number) or if you hear from your missing relative.
How can I update my information?
To update your information, please contact the Red Cross, Red Crescent or ICRC office in the country where you live. You can find the closest office by visiting http://familylinks.icrc.org.
How long will it take to find my family?
We cannot say how long it might take. If your missing relative has already contacted us, there could be an immediate match. But it could also take months. We will do our best to help you find your relative as quickly as possible.
What should I do if I see my relative in a photo?
If you see your relative on a poster, please get in touch with the Red Cross, Red Crescent or ICRC office in the country where you live.
If you see your relative’s photo on the website, click on “Do you have information?” below the picture and fill out the form. A tracing officer will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
What if someone I don’t wish to be in contact with sees my photo?
If you decide to put your photo on our website, anyone will be able to see it. If you don’t want someone to see your photo, you should tell us not to publish it. We will use other, more traditional tracing methods instead to help reunite you with your family. In any case, we will always ask for your permission before sharing any of your information.