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.
Looking for family in Afghanistan?
If you have family affected by the current situation in Afghanistan, our International Family Tracing service might be able to help.
- If you know someone in the affected areas, please try to contact them in the usual way, such as by phone, social media or email.
- If you cannot contact them in this way, please get in touch with your local Family Tracing office (see below 'find your local missing family service') who may be able to help.
Find your local missing family service
For information on how to request assistance for the evacuation of vulnerable family members in Afghanistan, and for the Afghan resettlement scheme, please visit the dedicated UK government webpage. This page provides information for British nationals and non-British nationals in Afghanistan, and for people who may be relocated to the UK under the Afghan Relocation scheme (ARAP).
Looking for family or friends during an emergency?
If you are concerned about family and friends who may be affected by the following emergencies:
- The earthquake in Haiti
- The conflict in the Tigray region of Ethiopia
You can take the following steps:
- If the person is in the affected area, please contact your nearest British Red Cross international family tracing service.
- If the person is a British national, you can also contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office on 0207 008 1500.
- If the person is not a British national, please contact the embassy of the person’s country.
Looking for family or friends in Assab, Eritrea?
We are now unable to send requests for tracing in and around the city of Assab. Please check this page regularly in case the situation changes.
If you have had a sudden break in contact with a loved one in the UK and are very worried about their wellbeing, please contact their neighbour if you know them and/or the emergency services for immediate assistance.
For all other enquiries concerning a loss of contact with a relative due to coronavirus in the UK or overseas, we may be able to help.
Changes to delivering the international family tracing service during the coronavirus pandemic.
Following government advice, we have now stopped all face-to-face appointments and have been supporting people on the phone or online where possible.
We are currently only able to offer appointments by phone or video call.
Please be assured that we are working hard to continue supporting people through this time, whilst managing the need to keep everyone safe.
Please keep checking this page for updates.
Who can get help from our international family tracing service?
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 a relative in the UK or abroad.
How can you get help to contact your family?
Our international family tracing service 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.
You can search for your nearest international family tracing service 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.
It is likely there will be reduced capacity or ability for other Red Cross/ Crescent Societies to respond to tracing enquiries due to global coronavirus restrictions. These will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
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 are a refugee, we may also be able to help you reunite with your family in the UK
Tips for keeping in touch during the coronavirus pandemic
There are lots of things you, your family and friends can do to keep in contact and look out for each other at this time.
This includes thinking ahead in case one of you gets ill.
- Set up regular calls with family or friends, especially if you or they live alone.
- Create a written list of your next of kin/close family or friends to be contacted in an emergency. Include their names, phone numbers and addresses. Keep your Emergency Contact list in your wallet or purse.
- Make sure your next of kin/emergency contacts know your current phone number and home address.
- If you are living far from your family members, have the contact details of their neighbour or someone else who is in touch with your relatives.
- Write the phone number of other family members and give it to your children so your children can contact them if you become ill.
- If you are ill and need to go to hospital remember to take your phone and charger.
- Share these tips with others!
Other helpful tips:
- If you have any prescription medication make sure details of this and any allergies are easily found, for example with your Emergency Contact list.
- Have you discussed your wishes with your next of kin/emergency contacts, if you were seriously ill due to coronavirus?
- We have worked with Doctors of the World and other organisations to produce information on coronavirus in multiple languages.