Netherlands Missions, Japan

What to do if someone goes missing abroad

If a friend or family member goes missing abroad, report their disappearance to the local police.

If the police cannot find the missing person, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on +31 (0)70 348 4770 or DCV-CA@minbuza.nl

Collect information about the missing person

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will ask you for as much information as possible about the missing person and their travel plans. You can help by providing the following information:

  • the missing person’s name and address;
  • their passport or driving licence number;
  • the name and address of their local contact;
  • information about their itinerary and the purpose of their journey;
  • the names of travelling companions;
  • their travel insurance details;
  • information about air tickets, money, credit cards, transport, medication, etc.;
  • an extract from the municipal population register;
  • a copy of the official missing person report.

Costs of search and assistance

If the missing person has taken out travel insurance, you should contact the insurer. They will inform you about possible funding for search operations, like deploying an aircraft or helicopter, or placing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

The Ministry will keep in touch with the embassy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will pass on all available information to the embassy or consulate in the country where your friend or relative has gone missing. The embassy or consulate will also ask for the help of the local authorities, such as the police, customs authorities, or immigration authorities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will keep you informed of developments.

Conducting your own search

It is better not to try to investigate a disappearance abroad yourself. It could hinder the local police investigation. If you still decide to travel to the country where your friend or relative has gone missing, please do so in close consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Contact with the media

There is every chance that the media will ask you questions about the disappearance. Don’t be tempted to make statements that will not benefit the investigation. You can always refer journalists to the media relations team at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Report contact with the missing person

If the missing person suddenly gets in touch, please inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as soon as possible. The investigation will then be stopped.

Assistance and contact with people in the same situation

Victim Support Netherlands (Slachtofferhulp Nederland) provides support for the friends and relatives of missing persons. You can contact them on +31 (0)900 0101

The Association of Friends and Relatives of Missing Persons (Vereniging Achterblijvers na Vermissing) is a support organisation that can represent your interests and offer an opportunity to talk with people in the same situation as you.