What To Do In A Crisis?

The most important thing to remember in a crisis is that time is of the essence.

No matter the time of day or night, immediately contact the consular services division of your home country. If the circumstances warrant, government and security officials of the host country should also be apprised of the situation and their assistance requested.

Acting quickly before the individual becomes entangled in the local security and court apparatus can often lead to an early resolution of the situation. Bringing immediate international attention to the plight of the person in detention can improve their treatment and the conditions of their incarceration.

The experienced professionals of The Ofelas Group can be contacted 24 hours a day via our Global Crisis Response Email: crisis[at]ofelasgroup.com

What Consular Officals Should Help You With

  • help in a medical emergency by providing a list of local doctors and hospitals
  • provide advice and contact information for local police and medical services to victims of robbery, sexual assault or other violence
  • provide some assistance in cases of missing persons or the abduction of a child to another country
  • replace a lost, stolen, damaged or expired passport
  • contact relatives or friends to request assistance in sending you money or airline tickets;
  • contact next of kin, with your authorization, if you have had an accident or are detained by police
  • help you, in case of a death abroad, to identify a funeral home experienced in international funeral arrangements in the region where the death took place as well as a funeral home
  • request timely and transparent investigations into suspicious circumstances in the event of an alleged or apparent crime or death (although consular officials cannot interfere in an investigation or legal matter)
  • contact friends or family on your behalf, with your authorization.
  • provide you with a list of local lawyers
  • provide you with sources of information about local laws and regulations

Example: Canadian Government Consular Services Checklist

What Your Government Will Usually Not Help To

  • guarantee your safety and security while you are abroad
  • provide legal advice, intervene in private legal matters or financial estate disputes
  • get you out of prison
  • intercede with foreign immigration officials to allow you to enter or exit a country
  • solve immigration-related problems
  • perform investigations abroad
  • ask local authorities to give you preferential treatment
  • help return a child that has been abducted by a parent involved in a custody dispute