The separation of family members is a critical humanitarian concern. Every year, thousands of family members are separated by conflicts, disasters or migration. People suffer terribly when they lose contact with their loved ones and don’t know where they are or whether they are safe. The ICRC and National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies work together around the world to locate people and put them back into contact with their relatives. This work includes looking for family members, restoring contact, reuniting families and seeking to clarify the fate of those who remain missing.
CVTL’s longstanding Restoring Family Links (RFL) program works to facilitate a messaging service between Families that have been separated as a result of conflicts and natural disasters. Information campaigns were Conducted where 33,389 people received information about the RFL program, 15,000 brochures were distributed and in 2012 radio announcements promoting the RFL program were aired. CVTL also took referrals from external agencies working within the community including police, other NGO’s and social services. These activities lead to the opening of 123 new cases in the period between 2010-2014 and investigations saw 44 of these cases resolved, and messages delivered. The RFL program also provided direct humanitarian assistance to 57 migrants separated from their families and to children in orphanages in three districts.
In 2013, CVTL staff, in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), met with PMI to discuss the situation for many families from Timor-Leste who continue to live in West Timor. Together, CVTL and PMI facilitated communication between families separated between East and West Timor. With support from the ICRC, CVTL and PMI are working to support cross-border visits for children separated during past conflicts.