On the occasion of 30 August, International day of Missing persons, Red Cross of Montenegro reminds on right on family unity and right of families to know what happened to their closest ones who are missing.
This and the previous year, due to the pandemic and frequent quarantines, but also the self-isolation of individuals, showed us how important contact with close people is and how much separation from family members can affect our mental health.
However, not only due to the pandemic, today there is a very high number of separated families in the world due to war, natural disasters, migration, and it is not uncommon for families to have no information about their members for years.
Every year, more than a thousand people are registered as missing, but even those numbers are not final, unfortunately, in some parts of the world, families are not able to report the disappearance of their loved ones.
Having in mind the increased number of migrants and migration flows, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN agencies, there is an increasing number of cases of families separated during attempts of irregular border crossings, and this often happens due to the actions of competent state bodies across Europe, which try to prevent such border crossings. According to data from the region, at least 1 or 2 incidents occur every month, resulting in the death of migrants on the Balkan and Adriatic routes toward the European Union.
Thus, since 2013, when the migratio influx started, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has opened 24,500 cases of missing persons globally, of which the most persons were reported as missing from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Eritrea.
In this regard, the Red Cross of Montenegro joins the call of the International Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, in accordance with the Resolution on the Restoring family links adopted at the 33rd International Conference of the International Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement in 2019, for the implementation of measures prevention of family separation and the adoption of migrant policies, which enable safe passage and prevent family separation and disappearances on their way to a safer and more secure life.
As a part of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Red Cross of Montenegro carries out the activities of the Tracing service and Restoring family links, from the day of it foundation until today. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Government Commission for Missing Persons, it provides support in resolving cases of missing persons on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, during the war in the 1990s.
In addition, the Red Cross of Montenegro works every day to resolve cases of missing persons in the context of migration of Montenegrin and foreign nationals on the territory and outside the borders of Montenegro.
In the past year, 13 tracing request were opened, and about 500 telephone calls were made in order to establish family ties.