Every year, consulates inform the Crisis Centre of the deaths of 750 French nationals abroad, on average. In 2008, 59 fellow citizens were taken hostage and 20 disappeared under disturbing circumstances.
A specific unit is in charge of managing these “individual cases” that are highly emotive and are often the subject of wide media coverage.
In the case of a death, the unit notifies the families, guides them and helps them carry out the necessary procedures concerning the repatriation of mortal remains or make funeral arrangements abroad. In the case of terrorist attacks or group accidents in the air or on land, this unit looks after victims through the Institute for Victims’ Aid and Mediation (INAVEM) and through the Compensation Fund for the Victims of Acts of Terrorism and Other Offences (FGIT).
In the case of hostage-taking or disturbing disappearances, the unit does everything in its power to obtain their release and to organise searches, while respecting the sovereignty of the other States. It accompanies victims’ families by giving them all the information available and by offering them psychological and moral support. When assistance is needed in negotiations between abductors, local authorities, families or employers, the Crisis Centre calls on specialised services.
When searching for missing French nationals, it calls on the French national police central office for disturbing disappearances or, in the case of the identification of mortal remains, it calls on the French National Gendarmerie Criminal Research Institute or the forensic police.
Updated on July 2009
- A tour of the Quai d’Orsay
- A tour of the Quai d'Orsay