What to do if someone goes missing in a foreign country

If a Dutch national goes missing in a foreign country, report their disappearance to the local police if you are also abroad. If you are in the Netherlands, file a report with the Dutch police. You can also contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the embassy.

Contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) or embassy

The 24/7 BZ Contact Centre can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on +31 247 247 247.

If you are in a foreign country, you can also contact the Dutch embassy in the country where the person is missing.

Providing information about the missing person

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will ask you to provide as much information as possible about the missing person and their travel plans. For example:

  • name and address
  • passport number
  • name and address of a local contact person
  • information about the purpose and destination of their journey
  • names of fellow travellers
  • travel insurance details
  • information about flights, money, credit cards, transport and medicines

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no investigative authority

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has no authority to investigate. The Dutch embassy or consulate can, however, contact the local authorities, such as the police, customs or intelligence services.

Communication about developments

If there are any developments in the case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contact you.

If the missing person contacts you, tell the Ministry of Foreign Affairs immediately.

Costs of the search

If the missing person has taken out travel insurance, you should contact the insurance company’s emergency support centre. They will be able to tell you more about insurance cover for search operations.

Contact with the media

If you are contacted by journalists, don’t be tempted to make statements that could harm the investigation. You can always refer journalists to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Communications Department.

Assistance and contact with people in the same situation

Victim Support Netherlands (Slachtofferhulp Nederland) provides support for the friends and relatives of missing persons (this site is in Dutch). You can contact them on 0900 0101 (from within the Netherlands), or 116 006 (from outside the Netherlands).