We understand how unbearable the disappearance of a beloved can be, and excruciating the search process can get. Even more painful is it when the said person is a migrant, the procedure to locate him/her can be even more difficult and frustrating, this is why we have deemed it highly important to share with you some very useful tips/guidelines to aid in your search.
Are you looking for a relative that suddenly went missing while going through migration routes? Stick with us!
Firstly, you have to understand your rights as a relative of a missing person and the fact that you are entitled to search for the person(s) and receive latest information about their whereabouts or welfare.
How do you start?
It is pertinent to file a report about the disappearance of your family, friend or neighbor that is a migrant; they are entitled to the same rights as any other missing persons, and this has to be done as quickly as possible.
You are required to provide all necessary information about these persons such as:
Their personal details which include:
- Name including the surname.
- Place of birth.
- Date of birth/Age.
- Country of origin.
- Material means of identification:
- personal items such as clothing, jewelries etc.
- Physical characteristics that is;
- Approximate height,
- Skin color, hair color, eye color,
- Body marks (scars, tattoos), piercings, and
- Most recent location he/she was spotted.
This information will be highly helpful in the identification and location of your missing loved one/companion.
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Who do I go to?
You need to solicit the assistance of law enforcement agencies and social organizations like:
- The police, it could be that of the country of origin, the destination country or the border police if the person was last seen around the border,
- Courts of Justice.
- Consulates of the countries where you think your loved one could be,
- Non- Governmental organizations like Red Cross etc.
It is Important to have someone accompany you
Having an escort/partner to accompany you in your search process is essential as they can be available to provide support emotionally or in situations of cultural barrier. These escorts could be a relative, neighbor, companion(s) of the missing persons, and reliable individuals from organizations that can facilitate your search, including citizens of the country where the missing person was last seen. The reassuring support that a companion provides cannot be overemphasized.
The painful process of identifying a body
Now, if a body is found, it has to properly identified and this can be achieved definitely through DNA fingerprinting along with other useful forensic means like:
- Examination of identity (ID) cards,
- Facial reconstruction (if the decomposition process has advanced),
- Lip marks,
- Performing photograph, fingerprints and footprints matching and
- Dental findings Etc.
If the identity of the missing person matches the body found, burial arrangements and/or repatriation procedures (the process of returning the remains back to the home country for the necessary burial rites) are made.
Dead persons are entitled to retaining their identity, and to be buried with dignity in line with their personal and spiritual beliefs. These are their undeniable and enforceable rights.
The peril of Sea
Uncountable number of times, water vessels have been reported missing including the people aboard them. It is very possible for migrant ships to be hijacked, sink or just vanish plainly into thin air. If this is the possible case, seek more information and try to find substantial evidence, it is vital for closure.
You are not alone in this situation; social organizations are here for you in this time of distress.
At Long Last
Finally, remember the disappearance of your loved one or neighbor is never your fault and you are not alone in your search; support can be found with other families with this similar issue even in this time of agony. Also, it is very important to rely only on trustworthy people or organizations for information and aid to avoid being deceived and extorted.