In the turmoil of disaster and conflict, family members can be separated. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) and the network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the globe try to locate people and put them back into contact with their missing relatives. The service is free of charge and incorporates tracing, messaging services and family re-unification.

Trace the Face

Trace the Face is an online photo directory that allows anyone to search through photos for a missing person or to post their own details so that their families know they are safe. The website, available also in Somali, is run by a number of national Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies and target migrants in Europe.


As one of the means of looking for family members, the ICRC, in cooperation with the BBC, reads out the names of missing Somalis on the “Missing Persons” radio programme six times a week. This takes place at the request of their families.

A list of people being sought by their families is also published online.

Red Cross Messages

The Somali Red Crescent Society helps families stay in touch through the use of Red Cross Messages (RCMs). These are unsealed letters on a two-page form that can be detached and retained by the recipient. The first page is used by the sender for his or her message. The second page contains the reply. The identities and full addresses of the sender and his correspondent appear on both pages. RCMs enable relatives to exchange news of a personal nature through the network of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies worldwide.