Displacement in the context of disasters is a global and increasing phenomenon. Since 2008, disasters stemming from natural hazards have displaced an average of 24.6 million people each year – the equivalent to one person per second. This Information Sheet examines displacement that arises as a result of disasters and climate change, and distinguishes between internal displacement and cross-border displacement.
Children are highly vulnerable to disasters, in part due to their young age, dependency needs and developmental status. In disasters nearly all the rights of children are implicated – ranging from basic survival to freedom from abuse and exploitation, and access to health care and education. All too often, at the critical juncture following a major disaster, children are relegated to the margins. This Information Sheet examines the specific rights and needs of children in disasters.
Information Sheet: Human Rights in Disasters
Gender based violence (GBV) is any act or threat of harm inflicted on a person because of their gender. Specific factors which can facilitate increased rates of GBV during a disaster include: the weakening of community and institutional protection mechanisms; disruption of services and community life; destruction of infrastructure; separation of families; displacement; and limited access to justice and health services. This Information Sheet highlights the extent and impact of gender based violence on women and children in disasters, and required actions to prevent and respond to GBV.
When a disaster such as a flood, earthquake or typhoon strikes, local communities are the first to respond to rescue those in peril and to provide support and assistance to those in need. Often, the international community will also respond, by providing humanitarian assistance and expertise. However, there is no such thing as a “natural” disaster. Disasters occur when a natural hazard overwhelms a vulnerable community. Therefore, reducing individual and community vulnerabilities while strengthening their resilience is the core of disaster risk reduction (DRR).
“Disasters do not strike departments or committees, they strike communities. In the long run we will not be successful in reducing risks if our laws merely distribute responsibilities among dedicated agencies and expert groups.”
What is International Disaster Law?
International disaster law (IDL) focuses on the legal issues arising from the preparation for, response to and recovery from different natural hazards, such as earthquakes or storms, as well as human-made disasters such as large-scale industrial accidents.
Irish Red Cross welcomes final migrants from Greece under EU relocation programme.
The Irish Red Cross was at Baldonnel this afternoon to welcome the final 129 migrants due to arrive in Ireland from Greece under the EU relocation programme, signifying the conclusion of Ireland’s participation in this programme. With the arrival of this special charter flight, Ireland has now received all the migrants available for relocation to Ireland from Greece.
Mary O’Reilly from Baldoyle in Dublin has given Syrian refugee Wassim a room in her home under the Irish Red Cross-run Register of Pledges. Read about their experience below.
The Irish Red Cross is facilitating the placement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into medium to long term accommodation across the country and since August 2017, has placed 65 refugees into housing.
Launch of the 2016 annual report
2,299 patients in Ireland received first aid treatment from Irish Red Cross volunteers in 2016. These volunteers gave 200,000 hours of voluntary service which represents a 20% increase on 2015. These and other insights are detailed in the Irish Red Cross’ 2016 Annual Report which was launched recently by Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe and Irish Red Cross Chairman Pat Carey at the Irish Red Cross shop in Newbridge, Co Kildare.
The Irish Red Cross has committed €25,000 to aid in the fight against a major cholera outbreak in Yemen. The donation follows the deployment of two Irish staff members in 2016 to assist in the response to Yemen’s ongoing war and famine which has left 19 million Yemenis reliant on humanitarian aid. There are 124,000 suspected cases from the current outbreak which has already claimed the lives of 923 people.
The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) today donated in excess of €80,000 retail worth of New Balance sportswear to the Irish Red Cross for migrants arriving in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP).
The donation comes on receipt of a grant from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to the OCI. Additionally, the OCI gained the support of their Olympic Clothing sponsor New Balance in order to maximise the positive impact of the IOC grant.
One year ago the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Nepal were transformed by the worst earthquake the country had experienced since 1934.
The earthquakes destroyed or damaged about 800,000 houses, leaving an estimated 4 million people living in cramped, temporary shelters made of plastic sheeting, corrugated iron and exposed to heat, wind, rain and cold.
Today we reflect on the work that has been done to help affected communities and the work that still needs to be done.
Immediate Humanitarian Response
Red Cross emergency medical teams are still providing medical services to people living in evacuation centres in the small town of Mashiki in Kumamoto which was badly affected by the two earthquakes that struck the prefecture on 14 and 16 April.
Twenty of the 45 deaths caused by the disaster were in Mashiki, and thousands of evacuees are still unable to return to their homes.
The Irish Red Cross has released a further €100,000 from its Migration Crisis Appeal to help migrants in Greece cope with plummeting temperatures.More than 27,000 winter kits for babies, children and adults have been distributed to those arriving at the Greek islands and mainland and those sheltering in transit camps. Cold and wet weather remain a major concern throughout the country.
Irish Red Cross has appointed an eight-person task force as part of the society’s scaling up of operations to assist victims of the migration crisis.
The task force was announced last Saturday following a meeting of the Irish Red Cross board. Irish Red Cross Chair, Pat Carey, said the composition of the task force reflects the areas of competence within the Irish Red Cross likely to be most relevant to supporting migrants that arrive in Ireland.
Initial assessments coming in from Red Cross field workers in Nepal indicate this morning's earthquake that hit north-east of Kathmandu has led to people being trapped beneath collapsed buildings.
The Nepalese government said at the time of writing at least 20 are dead and 1,000 injured.
John Roche Head of the Irish Red Cross International department and former Head of Disaster Management for the Nepal region said: "Our preliminary reports show that several houses in Bhaktapur and Lalitpur Districts have been damaged”
The Irish Red Cross has sent a further €100,000 to help with humanitarian relief operation in Nepal after last weekend’s earthquake.
Irish Red Cross Head of International said the replenishment of basic supplies such as food, medicine, water purifier and shelters were the main requirements.
The Irish Red Cross has pledged €50,000 to assist in the relief effort following Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal and subsequent aftershocks.
Head of International John Roche who is a former Red Cross Head of Disaster Management in the region said “a local plan had been prepared some time ago and emergency stocks of relief goods are in place. For previous experiences we have learnt that an influx of goods from abroad can create logistical difficulties.
Complacency could cost lives despite successful efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) are warning.
Despite substantial success in combatting the spread of the virus, difficulties surrounding safe burials, local customs, public understanding, cross-border movement and geography mean the virus's spread could increase.
Land Rover today announced a three year partnership with the Irish Red Cross, helping to bring safe drinking water to regions of Niger affected by drought and failed harvests.
The partnership has already seen great success with the first Land Rover funded water tower completed in November 2014, benefiting 3,000 people in the village of Tchimattan, plus thousands more from communities in the surrounding Tanout region. A further two towers will be built over the course of the partnership, aiming to reach more than 12,000 beneficiaries in total.