International Services

  • Restoring Family Links

Restoring Family Links

The chaos and confusion that accompany war and disaster can separate families when they need each other most. Whether it’s been weeks or years, the American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter can help you find and reconnect with loved ones around the world after natural disasters, armed conflict, migration, or other humanitarian emergencies.

Red Cross caseworkers around the U.S. help families locate missing relatives by working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations in nearly every country around the world. Annually the Red Cross assists more than 5,000 families trying to reconnect with their loved ones in the U.S. and around the world.

**Please note: there is no charge for these services. All Red Cross programs are made possible by the voluntary services and financial support of the American public. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers search tirelessly for information that will bring resolution to your case and peace of mind to you and your family.

Here's a partial listing of Restoring Family Links Program services:

Tracing Inquiries

Tracing Inquiries are used to locate family members separated by armed conflict, natural disaster, migration, or other humanitarian emergencies. Additionally, tracing inquiries can clarify or document the fate of relatives missing due to armed conflict.

Holocaust and World War II Tracing & Documentation

The Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Service assists persons seeking to learn the fate of loved ones missing since the Holocaust and its aftermath. This free, confidential service uses the combined resources from a worldwide network of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, including the Magen David Adom National Society and numerous museums, archives and organizations.

Red Cross Messages

Red Cross Messages (RCMs) are personal and confidential written communications sent between family members separated by conflict or disaster. RCMs are used when the sender knows the location of his or her family member but has no other means of communication.

International Disaster Welfare Inquiries

International Disaster Welfare Inquiries are made to assist family members who have lost communication after the occurrence of a major natural disaster such as an earthquake or typhoon.

International Health & Welfare Inquiries

Health and Welfare Inquires are non-conflict related inquiries designed to trace particularly vulnerable clients, including the elderly, ill or handicapped who have suddenly lost communication with close family members.

ICRC Certificates of Detention

Specific to the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. Used to request documentation that someone was visited by the ICRC while in detention.

Contact Your Local Area Representative: or 858-309-1488

Learn more about the Reconnecting Families Program