Cambodia: taking the law off the shelf

A law does no good sitting on a shelf. In order to have real impact it must be understood and acted upon. All people should know their rights, roles and responsibilities in disasters, but often we see that this is not the case. National Societies, with roots at the community level as well as a unique auxiliary role with government, are well positioned to strengthen public awareness and understanding of disaster law.

Cambodia Red Cross continues to show leadership in the dissemination of the 2015 Law on Disaster Management, with the objective to ensure greater understanding of the rights, roles and responsibilities of various actors provided in the law, including at the community level. IFRC has supported Cambodia Red Cross to develop an inclusive, systematic and practical dissemination package containing three themes which can be modified for different audiences; 1) International and Regional Commitments; 2) Cambodia Law on Disaster Management 2015; 3) Know your Rights, Roles and Responsibilities in Disaster Risk Management. To ensure practical application of theory, the package contains a desktop scenario with group activities and other dissemination materials. The package also includes a training manual to ensure National Society capacity retention for dissemination activities and feedback forms to ensure that the dissemination is meeting its objectives.

The National Workshop on Disaster Management Law, co-hosted by Red Cross and National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) was held on 2nd of February 2017, with participants from the Provincial Committees for Disaster Management Cambodia Red Cross branches, ICRC, IFRC, civil society including JAG/HRF (consortium of humanitarian agencies working within DRR and response preparedness) and UNDP. After a successful national workshop with great engagement from all participants, Cambodia Red Cross together with their government authorities are set to undertake three provincial dissemination workshops, in Kratia, Kampong Cham and Pursat provinces in February and March 2017.