Disaster Law in 2019

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What we do

The IFRC’s Disaster Law Programme assists National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to support their authorities in developing and applying state-of-the-art disaster-related legislation, policies and procedures. We do this in order to make communities safer, to ensure timely and effective humanitarian relief, and to improve the protection of the most vulnerable when faced with crisis.

We operate on an international mandate provided by all state parties to the Geneva Conventions, providing technical advice based on over fifteen years of global research and consultations. By harnessing their unique auxiliary role, National Societies working with our programme have successfully strengthened new disaster laws and policies in 37 countries since 2007. Our main themes include:

Domestic Preparedness and Response (New!)

Integrated legal frameworks for DRM that adequately address domestic preparedness and response, including institutional and procedural arrangements, risk financing (such as FbF and CASH programming), as well as planned approaches to regulatory issues in post-disaster shelter.

Disasters and climate laws that leave no one behind (New!)

Support to governments in strengthening their legal and policy frameworks for disaster risk management to ensure they are gender and diversity responsive, protective and inclusive, and reflect international humanitarian standards.

Auxiliary Role

Recognizing the critical role of National Societies, as auxiliaries to their public authorities in the humanitarian field with a unique community outreach, to ensure community voices and engagement with national level policy development and planning processes.

Law and Disaster Risk Reduction

Modern legal frameworks that have integrated disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into disaster risk management and sectoral laws and policies, in line with key international and regional commitments.

Legal Preparedness for International Disaster Assistance (‘IDRL’)

Procedures for international disaster relief that put domestic authorities in the driver’s seat, reduce barriers, costs and quality problems, and uphold humanitarian principles.