A three-day workshop for National Societies (NS) offering Restoring Family Links (RFL) services to foreign detainees concluded on 21 May 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Dragana Kojic, Head of Delegation, ICRC Kathmandu, inaugurated the workshop on 19 May. Secretary General of the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) Dev Ratna Dhakhwa also attended the event.

RFL is a core activity of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement through which we help migrant detainees establish contact with their family. Promotion of the RFL services of the National Societies is part of the RFL 10-year strategy (2008-2018) of the RCRC Movement and this workshop was the first regional event in this direction.

The workshop was aimed at facilitating sharing of experiences and collective thinking among four South Asian National Societies offering RFL services to foreign detainees.
There was one participant each from Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) and Sri Lankan Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and two from the Nepal Red Cross. Also present was ICRC staff from all four countries.

RFL Coordinator from Sri Lankan Red Cross Ramanish Katheravelu felt the workshop was a great opportunity to meet people in the region providing RFL services. “As this workshop is about providing RFL services to migrants in detention, it gave us the opportunity to interact with other National Societies providing similar services and also to discuss theoretical and legal frameworks and best practices across the world.”

Representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) attended a session entitled ‘Establishing working relations with other organizations’ and made brief presentations on the topic. Officials from Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC), an NGO working for Nepali migrant workers, also spoke about the PNCC’s activities.

ICRC New Delhi