IRRC No. 199

The Central Tracing Agency of the ICRC

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The Central Tracing Agency is a permanent and integral part of the International Committee of the Red Cross. Yet it retains an autonomous character during conflicts, as laid down in the four Geneva Conventions.It is the duty of the Central Tracing Agency to carry out the mandate entrusted in time of war to the two central information agencies mentioned in Article 123 of the Third Convention and Article 140 of the Fourth Convention, namely: the central information agency for prisoners of war, and the central information agency for civilian internees and other protected persons. The Geneva Conventions contain about twenty–five articles relating to the role of these agencies, their relations with the Detaining Power, with the “Power of origin”, with the captives and with their families.

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