March 7, 2019

Meeting with the Tracing services of Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies on the topic “ Foreign fighters and their families “

The Macedonian Red Cross tracing service for more than a year now, has been working with cases related to the new target group, users of this services, which is known in the network for restoring family links as * Foreign fighters and their families *. Namely, there are persons, Macedonian citizens who, during the war in Syria, joined as fighters in paramilitary formations in Syria and contact with their families. Since this is an extremely serious and new activity, the Office of the International Committee of the Red Cross, based in Paris, on 28 February and 01 March, organized a meeting inviting European national societies that have so far worked on such cases as: Macedonian Red Cross, Serbia, Belgium, Great Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

The meeting aimed to exchange experiences regarding the challenges of establishing a dialogue with the authorities in order to inform them about the activities that we undertake as national societies in this field and the way of establishing contacts with the families of persons who are in camps and prisons in Syria.

The information that was shared by representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Damascus, Syria, talks about the  need to include the network for restoring family links in activities that would imply the restoring of family tlinks of persons still in Syria with their families in their countries of origin. The statistics speak about 5670 visits to the ICRC in prisons and camps in Syria, where it comes out that most of them are women and children (more than 3,000 children under the age of 18, especially children under 10).

In his presentation, the Macedonian Red Cross representative shared the experiences in this field with the attendees at the meeting, stressing that the Macedonian Red Cross, in accordance with instructions received from the ICRC, has already made contact with the authorities, while informing them about the humanitarian aspect of these cases and has so far realized  the activities of restoring family links.

Се очекува активностите поврзани со целната група *Странски борци и нивните семејства* да продолжат и во иднина со оглед на состојбите во Сирија. Останува Службата за барање на Црвениот крст на РМ и понатаму да биде вклучена во реализацијата на својата хумана мисија на овој план.

Activities related to the target group * Foreign fighters and their families * are expected to continue in the future taking into consideration the situation in Syria. The Macedonian Red Cross Red Cross Tracing Service remains to be involved in the realization of its humane mission in this field.


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