ICRC helps reunite children with families

Nine unaccompanied Liberian children who had been living as refugees in Cote d'Ivoire's southwestern Tabou area were repatriated on 19 December by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and reunited with their families in Liberia, the ICRC reported.

The current conflict in Cote d'Ivoire had made it an urgent priority for the ICRC delegation in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, to find the children's parents in that country, ICRC said in a news release on Friday. It said the recent fighting in western Cote d'Ivoire had further displaced many unaccompanied Liberian refugee children registered by ICRC before the present crisis.

ICRC also said its delegations in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire had registered hundreds of unaccompanied Liberian minors this year. The children have been given the opportunity to write brief personal messages to their families in Liberia for delivery through the Red Cross network. Each of these messages is usually accompanied by a photograph, ICRC said.

ICRC carries out cross-border tracing on behalf of unaccompanied children in West Africa.