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A family reconnected

Not knowing the fate of spouses, children, parents, siblings and close friends is a painful reality for countless families who have been separated by war, armed violence and disaster.

Follow Red Cross volunteers and staff as they search for the missing family of Nadine, a Burundian refugee separated from her family and loved ones during the Burundian civil war.

Open the interactive story: A family reconnected.

In 2013, 51.2 million people were displaced as a result of war, conflict or disaster and were counted as refugees, asylum-seekers or internally displaced people, according to UNHCR's annual Global Trends report. An estimated 10.7 million individuals were newly displaced due to conflict or persecution in 2013. During this period, children below 18 years constituted 50 per cent of the refugee population.

This displacement inevitably leads to the separation of families and breakdown of communities, with people often not knowing where their loved ones are or even if they are still alive. The impact on families, friends and the missing is devastating. Many of these people feel isolated, frustrated and helpless. Mental health issues, such as grief and depression, are commonly associated with having missing family, causing feelings of loss, anxiety, bewilderment and pain.
Red Cross helps reduce the suffering of families around the world who are separated by finding lost loved ones, re-establishing contact, exchanging family news and clarifying the fate of the missing.

Australian Red Cross' International Tracing Service aims to re-establish contact between family members who have been separated as a result of war, conflict, disaster or migration. The program works with the ICRC and Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in a worldwide network to restore family links and facilitate the exchange of family news.

Learn more about the International Tracing Service »