search for missing persons

Keywords: Search for persons

It is the nightmare of every family: a loved one cannot be contacted or found.

People go missing for various reasons. Their disappearance may be voluntary or involuntary. fedpol co-ordinates missing persons cases involving the cantons or international authorities. It is also the central contact point for cases involving enforced disappearances.

Missing persons

If a loved one or a person close to you has gone missing, you should contact the nearest police station immediately, either in person or by calling the emergency number 117.

Cases involving missing persons are extremely traumatic for family and friends. The police are aware of this and will do all they can to find them. Your local police station will decide what the next steps should be and whether to raise a missing persons’ alert.

Cases involving missing persons are entered in the police database. fedpol co-ordinates such cases and provides support to the cantons in searching for missing persons in Switzerland and abroad. If you wish to report a missing person, you should contact your local police station, not fedpol.

Child abduction

If your child has not come home from school or has not been returned home by a parent at the agreed time, you should contact your nearest police station in person or under the emergency number 117. Your local police will decide what the next steps should be. The police may decide to raise a national child abduction alert to search for missing children. The alert system has been in place since 2010.

For further information on the child abduction alert, go to:
Child abduction alert

fedpol co-ordinates child abduction cases and provides support to the cantons in searching for missing children in Switzerland and abroad. It also provides support if a child abduction alert is raised. If you wish to report a missing child, contact your local police station immediately.

Enforced disappearance

Enforced disappearance concerns the deprivation of liberty of a person by agents of the state or acting with the authorisation of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty and disclose the whereabouts of the person who has disappeared.

If you suspect a loved one or person close to you is the victim of an enforced disappearance in Switzerland, you may submit a request for information to fedpol, stating the reasons for your request.

Request for information form

Complete the request form in block letters, sign it and send it to fedpol via e-mail to or by post to:

Bundesamt für Polizei fedpol
Internationale Identifizierungen
Nussbaumstrasse 29
3003 Bern

A request for information is only for people who fear that someone close to them is the victim of an enforced disappearance. For cases involving missing persons or child abduction, please contact your nearest police station or call 117.

Legal basis

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