Find missing family

Get help finding missing relatives abroad through our international family tracing service if you have been separated by war, natural disaster or migration.

What we can do

We may be able to help you:

  • find your missing family
  • send a message to your family (but not money or packages)
  • get a certificate of detention for people who have been imprisoned

This is a free and confidential service to help families reconnect. We won’t pass on your information to anyone else without your permission.

If you are a refugee, we may also be able to help you reunite with your family in the UK

Who we can help

You can use our family tracing service if you haven’t been able to contact your family yourself and both of the following apply:

  • you are in the UK
  • you have been separated by war, natural disaster or migration

We may be able to help in other circumstances where there is a humanitarian need. For example, if you have suddenly lost contact with an elderly relative abroad.

How to get help

You can search for your nearest family tracing service and contact it to make an appointment.

In the appointment we’ll ask questions about your relative and where you think they might be. We’ll also help you to fill out a form. We can provide an interpreter for your appointment if you can’t speak English.

We can’t promise to find your relative but we’ll contact our colleagues in that country and let you know as soon as we get any news.

You can also check if your family are looking for you and add your photo to our Trace the Face website.

If you don’t live in the UK

If you can’t use our service because you don’t live in the UK you can contact the Red Cross or Red Crescent in your country.

Looking for family in Afghanistan?

We are currently unable to accept any new tracing enquiries from people looking for family in the Eastern region of Afghanistan. Provinces affected include Helmand, Nangarhar, Laghman, Nuristan and Kunar. This is because the International Committee of the Red Cross, who we work with in this region, have had to suspend their tracing activities.

We advise anyone looking for their family in these provinces to:

  • check this page regularly for any update to the service
  • visit the Trace the Face website to look through photos of people looking for their families
  • contact your British Red Cross local office to publish your own photo on Trace the Face.

Finding family members in Kashmir

Wednesday 14 August 2019

If you have lost contact with family members in Kashmir and are worried about them, please note that since 5 August communication services in Kashmir are not operational. There are no mobile network, landline, mobile internet, or broadband connectivity.

The Srinagar District Magistrate has provided helpline numbers for residents of Jammu and Kashmir living outside for assistance in travelling back home and contacting relatives in Kashmir. The families there are also using these lines to reach out.

Helplines: 009 1941 9028 242 or 009 1941 9028 251.

In addition to the above helplines, there are 300 public points for families to talk to their relatives over phones. 

If you were not separated by war, disaster or migration

If we can’t help you there are other organisations who may be able to.

Have you used this service before?

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