How to report a kidnap and where to go for help

If you need to raise the alarm about the kidnap of someone outside of their home country, you should contact their government’s consular body immediately. Many have an emergency helpline which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If someone you know has been kidnapped in their own country, contact law enforcement or the government’s consular body as soon as possible.

In both cases, you should also inform the hostage’s family.

Depending on the nature of the kidnap, multiple stakeholders play a role in the resolution of the incident. These can include law enforcement, governments, crisis response organisations and the hostage’s employer. Their involvement can vary depending on the nature of the kidnap, capability and circumstances of the person taken.

Some organisations provide kidnap crisis resolution services or security incident management services. Employers may already have a direct relationship with a specific provider. Where there is no such existing relationship, it is sometimes possible to engage the services of these response companies on an ad hoc basis. There are several highly reputable firms which offer advice in kidnap resolution, but there are also some that are not. Take considerable care if you are deciding which ones to approach.