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Conflict and disaster separate families, leading to years of uncertainty about the fate of a relative. The OHRA and its National Societies partners investigate and locate people, exchange messages, reunite families and clarify the fate of missing persons.

Every year, armed conflicts, other situations of violence, natural disasters and migration split up countless families. People suffer terribly when they lose contact with their loved ones and don't know where they are or whether they are safe. It is a tragedy for families when persons remain unaccounted for. As long as they are not located, sought persons are considered missing. When missing persons are neither confirmed as being alive nor dead, families must learn to cope with this uncertainty and are also often faced with pressing humanitarian needs.

Through its global network of exchange messages, OHRA helps families establish links with its partners and reconnect separated families and address the issue of missing persons.

OHRA uses the services of the Central Tracing Agency (CTA) (founded in 1870), to assist parties to an international armed conflict and prevent family separation and disappearance by collecting and transmitting information as a neutral intermediary. The CTA is one of the ICRC's oldest institutions enshrined in the Geneva Conventions.

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