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Family tracing and reunification (FTR)

During population displacement, such as fleeing a disaster or a war and being trucked to a new camp for Refugee or Internally Displaced People, children can easily become separated from their families. Young and differently-abled children are particularly at risk, as they may be unable to move as quickly as others.

Separated children are at risk of being recruited into armed forces or armed groups, abducted, trafficked, or sexually abused or exploited. Sometimes they are put into institutional care or made available for international adoption, instead of being reunified with their families and extended families.

Save the Children works to prevent separation in the first place, and work immediately when a crisis hits and in its aftermath, to put systems in place and inform people of what to do to ensure children are not separated from their families. When separation does occur, the organization sets up tracking systems for rapid reunification of separated children. The organization works with governments, ICRC, UNICEF, and other NGOs to register children, trace parents, and provide reunification packages for families. In addition, Save the Children supports governments to develop systems for registration and to provide identification cards to vulnerable children, to ensure that they are registered.

It is important to continue this work and to ensure that interagency tools on Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) are adopted and implemented in emergency situations and that government's capacity to register children is strengthened.

Photo: Save the Children

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