The victims of war are not only the injured, ill, hungry, the persons who lost their homes, but also the prisoners of war, detainees, missing persons, separated families, refugees and the exiled. The uncertainty about their destiny is very hard to bear. The International Humanitarian Law stipulates that families are entitled to information about the destiny of their closest. The Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949 and the Additional protocols of June 10, 1977, stipulate the obligations of the states signatories to establish Information Bureau –Tracing Service.
The Tracing Service conducts the following activities:
- It receives and collects information and documents for the persons that it is responsible for, and it registers them, classifies and processes the data;
- It receives tracing request or it provides information and makes tracing requests if it does not possess the required information;
- It notifies the person for whom a tracing request has been submitted for;
- It receives and registers requests for the time spent in prison or detention;
- It intermediates the exchange of family messages;
- It intermediates or organizes family reunification of members of separated families.
RULES FOR THE OPERATION OF THE TRACING SERVICE
The Tracing Service is obliged to receive all requests that fall under its responsibility on appropriate forms and to register them and to initiate the tracing procedure. If the tracing of the persons does not fall under the authority of the Tracing service, the person is directed to other responsible institutions. If the received tracing request does not contain the required information in the form, the tracing request is returned to the applicant to fill in the required information. The tracing request or the responses on the tracing requests are made on appropriate forms for these purposes. The family messages are also done on special forms developed for this purpose. All data submitted to the Tracing Service is used exclusively for soling the tracing request. All information is treated highly confidential and it is shared with other person only if the applicant or the traced person agrees on that. The services of the Tracing Service are free of charge.
In times of an armed conflict in the state or in case of armed conflict in other state for:
- prisoners of war;
- civilian detainees;
- persons imprisoned for more than two weeks;
- missing persons and children;
- children below 14 evacuated in another country or separated from their parents;
- wounded, ill, or dead persons from the armed forces;
- exchange of family messages and
- reunification of separated families.
- victims of natural or other disasters;
- evacuated persons, refugees or similar categories of persons who in significant number have left their homes and being sheltered at another location;
- persons who are temporarily employed abroad and lost contact with their families;
- migrants from different reasons;
- all other persons who require assistance from the tracing service.
The internal organization of the Tracing Service of Macedonian Red Cross is comprised of organizational network which functions on all levels in the state. The Tracing Service of Macedonian Red Cross is comprised of 34 Red Cross branches and one City Red Cross organization.
- Interest of the individuals
- Public interest
- Rationality and efficiency
The obligations of the Tracing Service are obligations of the state. The Government of the Republic of Macedonia entrusted Macedonian Red Cross to organize the Tracing Service in the Republic of Macedonia. Tracing missing persons and victims, the collection of information about them and the assistance provided for reunification of separated families represent the humanitarian features of the Tracing Service.< go back