Dead migrants and information to their families

A) Objectives of the pledge:

More and more people around the world are forced to leave their home countries due to conflicts, disasters or other humanitarian hardship. In the absence of legal avenues they often have to enter Europe on irregular ways and many die while trying to reach safe shores, leaving families behind who are desperate to know the fate of their loved ones. The right of every person to know what happened to their relatives is a fundamental principle that can be derived from Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. To support concerned families to know the fate of their loved ones, the signing parties commit to:

– strengthen the cooperation and coordination between national authorities and the RLF network of the RC/RC Movement;

develop and/ or establish mechanisms in order to facilitate the transmission of information about the fate and whereabouts of the deceased migrants to their families;

– identify and, as far as possible, offer solutions to any legal, administrative or factual obstacles that might be hindering activities in this respect.

B) Action plan:

Proposed evaluation criteria (in 2019): 

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

  • 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 signatories have subsequently developed potential ways of collaboration between authorities in charge and RC/RC National Societies and/or through own mechanisms identified as necessary to fulfil the mandate to assist families in finding their (deceased) loved ones.

  • Subsequently, the signatories have identified concrete channels of communications with the concerned families, guaranteeing fluid exchanges of information’s as to the fate of their deceased loved ones and the follow-up of their file.

  • The signatories have identified the national legal framework and if required suggested necessary amendments.

  • Best practices have been gathered and tools and ways to achieve the above mentioned objectives have been shared within the signing parties.
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