Based upon humanitarian spirit, the Hong Kong Red Cross established its Tracing Service in 1951 to assist individuals to locate and re-establish communication with lost family members who are separated by natural or man-made disasters. This is achieved with the support of mass media, government departments, public and private organizations, and the tracing network of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.。
General Tracing Service
Service application must meet all of the following four requirements to be eligible for Hong Kong Red Cross’ Tracing Service:
1. Reasons of separation
- Separation due to natural or man-made disasters;
- Separation due to other special reasons will be considered according to humanitarian principles.
2. Relationship between the enquirer and sought person :
- The enquirer is an immediate family member of the person to be located (i.e. parents and children, siblings or married couples;
- Only dependent relatives.
3. Tracing request should be related to Hong Kong residents
- Either the enquirer or sought person should reside in Hong Kong;
- If the enquirer resides in Hong Kong, he/she should be Hong Kong citizen.
4. Information should be submitted
- The enquirer must provide essential information about the lost family member including name, age, last known address and the reason of separation.
Cases will not be accepted
Since the Red Cross Tracing Service aims at helping family reunion, so the following cases will not be considered: Family problems
- Legal actions
- Commercial interests
- Tracing for a relative who has passed away
- Tracing for ancestors or descendants, but information is insufficient, e.g. names cannot be provided
Emergency Tracing Service
The Red Cross makes every effort to assist people to trace lost family members who are involved in disasters and emergency situations.
South Asia Tsunami
United States of America 911 Incident
In 2001, after the 911 Incident happened in US, Hong Kong Red Cross received nearly 30 enquiries and provided assistance to 22 families to trace their family members in New York with the help of American Red Cross.
In another tragic disaster - the Taiwan earthquake happened in September 1999 - the Hong Kong Red Cross also helped over 1200 Hong Kong citizens to locate their relatives in the affected area.
Japan EarthquakeFollowing the Kansai earthquake in February 1995, the Hong Kong Red Cross received requests from 150 Hong Kong citizens who were anxious to know the status of their relatives living in the earthquake area. Working closely with the Japanese Red Cross, more than 90 per cent of enquirers were successfully put in touch with their relatives.
Overseas Tracing Service
Restoration of family links between victims of armed conflict is one of the most longstanding activities of the Red Cross.
In wartime, communication is usually broken down. This, in turn, leads to loss of contact between family members who are living on opposite sides of the front line, who have fled their homes and become displaced, or who have sought refuge in another country.
The Red Cross aims at protecting the lives and rights of civilians in wartime by providing tracing service. For the unaccompanied children, their photos and names will be posted in refugee camps and public places, so as to reunite children with their parents as soon as possible.
Other than tracing service, the Red Cross also helps the separated families to communicate through Red Cross Message, a system to exchange correspondence through the Red Cross for those live in refugee camps or where the communication is broken down.
The conflicts and natural disasters in recent decades caused 1.28 million Afghans displaced internally and 3.5 million refugees in neighboring countries, taking up about 20% of the total population. At the same time, many detainees were kept in prisons and detention centers. They are unable to make easy contact with their family members. In year 2000, the Red Cross successfully delivered nearly 8,000 Red Cross Messages to the civilians separated by conflicts and 4,000 Red Cross Messages to detainees.
For matters relating to tracing service, please contact us at
Tracing Service, Hong Kong Red Cross Head Office
Tel: (852) 2507 7135
Fax: (852) 3103 4010
Address: 19 Hoi Ting Road, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Email : email@example.com
General Tracing Enquiry Form: download form (pdf)
Emergency Tracing Enquiry Form: download emergency tracing service form (pdf)