Dead migrants and information to their families

Actions taken:

As part of the joint pledge, the British Red Cross (BRC) has subscribed to an action plan with six actions. The BRC has taken the following measures in relation to the first two actions.  The BRC is in the process of recruiting an intern to assist with the work related to this pledge.

1.  A common working group of the signing parties and a plan of action have been established:

The Working Group on Deceased migrants and information to their families (“the WG”) has been established and five (5) key responsibilities have been agreed:

    • Act as a focal point for the components of the Movement; providing contextual information and technical guidance; and establish one focal point within the WG who will be responsible for specific European National Societies and Regions.


    • Co-ordinate the process of the mapping of the current situation.


    • Gather best practices, tools and ways to achieve the above-mentioned objectives to be shared within the Movement, using the appropriate available mechanisms (e.g. Flextranet workspace).


    • Define the dates for finishing the mapping of the current situation (by European National Societies), and try to link these dates to another Restoring Family Links conference at the end of the year (2017).


    • Create a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (“Q&A”) and answers chapter or category on Flextranet.


    • Support to defining national policy recommendations to Government authorities to address the issue of deceased migrants and the need for proper identification.


2.  The signatories have carried out a mapping of the current situation in their respective country in order to thoroughly understand the process of how deceased migrants are identified, registered, if and how their families are informed and who is responsible for these tasks.

    • The British Red Cross (BRC) forwarded details to the WG on 20 April 2017 with suggestions relating to the content of the Mapping Survey.  Responses were received from the German Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Austrian Red Cross and BRC. The WG Chair, Jutta Hermans, decided to use what information and suggestions were received and compiled the draft Mapping Survey.


    • The BRC has been in contact with Dr Robins at Yale University, who carried out research relating to identifying missing migrants in Europe and the UK, in order to use his findings to assist with the completion of the Mapping Survey when finalised.


    • The initial proof of the Draft Mapping Survey was designed and distributed for proof-reading by all members of the WG on 8 May 2017.  The WG Chair did not receive any responses or comments from any of the National Societies, apart from the BRC. Following correspondence with the Chair, it was suggested that – since the Draft Mapping Survey contained 42 questions and would require a considerable amount of research time – certain National Societies may not have had the required capacity to research and complete the Draft Mapping Survey.


    • On 15 June 2017 the Mapping Survey was uploaded to Flextranet for completion and review by National Societies.


    • The WG has scheduled a teleconference for August 2017 to discuss the Mapping Survey.


    • The WG has planned a meeting in September 2017 in Vienna to review the findings of the Mapping Survey and to discuss how the WG will fulfil the remaining actions of the action plan.


Implementation completion:

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