By Charina Clarisse Echaluce
The residents of Marawi city were reminded by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that there is an existing website which can help them locate their missing relatives.
ICRC noted it has launched an online page recently, with the help of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC). The website, “Crisis in Marawi-Philippines, Restoring Family Links”, helps a person trace his/her family members.
“Our tracing website offers a platform for people to share information about their missing relatives and request our help in tracing them,” said Camilla Matteucci, head of the ICRC team working with the PRC to reunite families in the Philippines.
Matteucci noted that there are many possible causes of separation during a conflict situation.
“People could be trapped by the fighting, detained or even killed. They could be in an evacuation centre but not have the means to contact their kin. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that families have a right to know what has happened to their loved ones, and wherever possible, be reunited with them,” she stated.
The website supplements existing tracing services such as the 12 PRC welfare desks in evacuation centres in Marawi and Iligan cities.
The ICRC keeps the information shared by families confidential. Since the beginning of the Marawi conflict, the website has received 402 tracing requests. A total of 179 are still being looked into.
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