Tracing in figures

The Tracing Service remains very much in demand today.

Missing person cases

In 2012, we received 436 new missing person requests, around the same number as the previous year.
199 applicants came to the Tracing Service in person. In a one-on-one chat, the Tracing staff member collects all the personal details needed for the tracing. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) extranet indicates the tracing options available in each country and the instruments that should be used.  In some parts of the world, tracing facilities are still limited.

237 new missing person requests reached the Tracing Service by mail or e-mail. Most were submitted by tracing services of other Red Cross or Red Crescent National Societies via the Family Links network. In such cases, our task was to locate the individual in question in Belgium.

In 2012, the number of successful missing person cases remained at around the same level as previous years.

Family reunification: new legislation and approach

In 2012, the number of family reunification requests  fell by 15% to 328.

This was partly to do with a change in the law on family reunification which came into force in fall 2011. Under the new rules, anyone wanting to bring their family to Belgium must have a permanent, stable and regular income.  Foreign nationals who receive subsidiary protection from the Belgian government must have a permanent job in order to bring their family to Belgium.  This condition does not apply for the first year after refugees were awarded this protection status.

To promote self-reliance among family reunification applicants, Tracing altered its approach in 2012: rather than actively monitoring family reunification cases, we now focus on providing information about the procedure. In 2012, Tracing organized group sessions for refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan and Tibet, to help applicants embark on their own family reunification procedure.

Naturally, Tracing also continued to provide additional help were necessary. We continued to actively monitor family reunification cases for certain vulnerable individuals, such as those who are unable to read or write, those who are unfamiliar with administration, unaccompanied minors, people with mental health problems and so on.  

Because we no longer actively monitor all cases, we are no longer systematically informed of the success of family reunification cases. This accounts for the halving in the number of families reunified in 2012 (down to 72).

Related item:

Tracing celebrates 75 year 


Trend in number of Belgian Red Cross-Flanders missing person requests





Trend in number of family reunifications