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.

Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe

Cyclone Idai has caused people to become separated from their families across three countries: Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. 

If you know someone in the affected areas and are not able to get in touch, you can use the Family Links website for more information.

If you are concerned about British nationals, you should contact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on 0207 008 1500.

For people from other countries, please contact your local international family tracing office.

Non-emergency situations

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.

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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