Conditions of our services
Before submitting a tracing request, please read through the information sheet below carefully.
We provide assistance for:
- families who were split during the years of the World Wars, the events of 1956 and the Cold War
- family members fleeing to our country from ongoing wars and armed conflicts
General conditions for submitting a tracing request
- the sought person should be a close family member
- there should be enough data to start the process of tracing
- both the enquiring and the sought person must be at least 18 years old
When can you use our service?
If you would like to find your family member who had disappeared in:
- an act of war
- an armed conflict
- political persecution
- a natural disaster
In case of serious humanitarian reasons, the Tracing Service also undertakes cases that are not related to wars:
- searching for the last remaining relative living abroad
- informing a relative living abroad about illness or death
- searching for a relative living abroad, who does not provide any sign of life, who is an elderly person or a relative suffering from an illness
When can you NOT use our service?
- for searches with the aim of settling legal matters or family conflicts (e.g.: inheritance or child support)
- for genealogical purposes
- for disappearance cases that fall under police jurisdiction
- for intra-national searches
- to organise class reunions
In the above mentioned cases, our help is limited to giving advice or searching in free online databases.
Tracing is carried out through the network of the Red Cross, which includes the Tracing Service of the Red Cross and Red Crescent in 190 countries and the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva and its delegations established in war zones. The network operates according to uniform principles, criteria and the professional guideline and regulation of the ICRC.
Everyone should turn to the Red Cross organization of the country they are currently living in, whether they are permanent residents or refugees, regardless of where in the world they are looking for family members.
- If you wish to find your relative who emigrated to Sweden in 1956, you shall turn to The Hungarian Red Cross.
- If you live in Sweden and wish to search for your relatives who stayed behind, you shall turn to the Swedish Red Cross.
After submitting your tracing request, the Red Cross organization which opens the case forwards the search to the Red Cross organization of the country in which the sought person was last seen. The latter organization will carry out the actual search on the territory of the given country. They will contact all institutions that may be able to provide information relevant to the case: local and central offices, archives and other institutions.
Finally, they will inform the Red Cross Society that initiated the process about their findings, which will then decide, based on the information received, whether it is necessary or possible to take further action, such as passing on the tracing process to another country or international archives. Ultimately, if all options have been exhausted, it will notify the enquirer of the results.
Depending on the nature of the case, the search may take from a few days to several years.
Information is protected. When the Red Cross finds the sought person, it will establish contact with them, inform them of who is looking for them and where this person is located, and then asks them if they consent to giving out their address to the enquirer. Should the sought person not wish to reveal their location, Red Cross staff cannot disclose it to the enquirer, regardless of the enquirer’s family relationship to the sought person or any other circumstance. The found person can even request that the Red Cross doesn’t divulge the fact that they have been found to the enquirer.
However, by initiating the tracing process, the enquirer automatically consents to their contact information being disclosed to their sought relative, regardless of whether the found person will eventually consent to giving out their address.
In the case of missing person notices published in the “Who knows about them?” column or elsewhere, the enquirer has to consent to publishing the notice. Nonetheless, the enquirer’s identity and contact information are not included in the notice.
The tracing service of the Red Cross is free. However, the tracing process requires substantial effort and involves significant costs. Therefore, we welcome all kinds of donations that intend to support our everyday efforts to search for relatives being separated from their families.