ICRC: Digitalization as Enabler to Re-Connect Families in Time of War

More than one million families are separated due to conflicts. The ICRC and the EPFL through C4DT partnership have set themselves a challenge to analyse publicly available data through analytics techniques to identify missing persons that would arguably not have been identified using current, conventional methods. The goal of this project is to facilitate the search for missing individuals by building scalable, accurate systems tailored for that purpose.

Digital information can be exploited to make the search for missing persons significantly more successful and efficient and could help to resolve cases, particularly using algorithmic-based searches, facial recognition technology and connected platforms. Respecting privacy and data protection is essential to ensure that the approach does not imperil personal safety and that the ICRC -as a trusted expert organization- endeavours to “do no harm” and minimize the risk to persons. The ICRC will then resolve these cases according to the best interests of individuals, respecting safety and data protection standards.