The Disaster Law Programme assists National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies of the region to support their authorities in developing and applying state-of-the-art disaster-related legislation, policies and procedures. We do this 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 given by all state parties to the Geneva Conventions, providing technical advice based on over a dozen years of global research and consultations. By harnessing their unique auxiliary role, National Societies working with us have successfully strengthened new disaster laws and policies since 2007.

The Programme’s main objectives are:
Strengthening Disaster Law in the region.
Strengthening the auxiliary role of the National Societies and build their capacities to efficiently advocate for legislative reforms on disaster prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Disaster Law and Legislative Advocacy constitute the two main pillars of the Programme:
Disaster Law: is a general term that encompasses legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks related to cohesive disaster and crisis risk management which encompasses the following key thematic areas:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)
  • Disaster Preparedness
  • Disaster National Response and International Assistance (“IDRL”).
  • Post-disaster Recovery

  • Legislative advocacy: refers to the actions taken by the National Societies, with the IFRC support, in their capacity of auxiliaries to their respective public authorities in the humanitarian field, to influence, at local, national, and international levels, decisions and policies that affect the most vulnerable.


    Events and Trainings

    11th - 13th November 2019:Regional Disaster Law and Legislative Advocacy Workshop, Abuja, Nigeria.

    14th - 15th 2019: Regional Workshop: Towards Climate Smart Policy Frameworks that leave no one behind, Abuja, Nigeria.

    9th - 12th December 2019: 33rd International Conference of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, Switzerland here.


    News Stories

    Call for Abstracts: Third International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest, 2019

    Announcement: Third International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest, 2019 Call for Abstracts Introduction This announcement calls for the submission of abstracts not exceeding 500 words for consideration for the third “International and Com …

    Building Climate-Smart Disaster Law Frameworks for Sustainable Development

    Saturday 24 August 2019 Disaster Management Building climate-smart disaster law frameworks for sustainable development The Disaster Response and Risk Management Department (DRDM) has proposed significant changes to the National Disaster Management Act …

    New project to map the auxiliary role in law and policy

    The auxiliary role is one of the defining characteristics of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ relationship with the public authorities. While acting at all times pursuant to the Fundamental Principles, National Societies are expected to …

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    Disaster Law Projects, Laws Adopted, Laws Pendings

    Click top left button on the map
    The first layer of this map sets out past and present disaster law projects and/or studies undertaken by the IFRC and National Societies.
    The second layer shows laws or rules that have been adopted and which draw on recommendations from National Societies.
    The third layer shows countries where new laws or rules drawing on those recommendations are currently pending.

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    The first layer of this map sets out past and present disaster law projects and/or studies undertaken by the IFRC and National Societies.
    The second layer shows laws or rules that have been adopted and which draw on recommendations from National Societies.
    The third layer shows countries where new laws or rules drawing on those recommendations are currently pending.


    Disaster Law Resources

    International disaster response laws, rules and principles (IDRL)

    Disaster Risk Reduction Law

    Protection and Gender Law


    Disaster Law Themes

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    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 on key humanitarian issues such as: disaster management, migration, health, among others

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    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

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    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 commitment.Online Course : Law and Disaster Risk Reduction

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    Domestic Preparedness and Response

    Integrated legal frameworks for disaster risk management that adequately address domestic preparedness and response, including institutional and procedural arrangements, gender and protection issues, as well as planned approaches to regulatory issues in post-disaster shelter

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    Legislative Advocacy

    Influence the development, adoption and implementation of law and policy connected to IFRC and National Societies' knowledge,experience and mission, in order to create positive social and institutional changes

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    Know Your Rights Roles and Responsibilities

    Strengthen public awareness and communities’ level of understanding on rights, roles and responsibilities under disaster-related legislation,policies and procedures to increase their resilience to disasters

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    Gender, Diversity and the Law

    Inclusion of gender, diversity and protection issues; to ensure that dignity, access, participation and safety for all is adequately provided for in domestic legislation, policies and procedure

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    Housing Land and Property Rights

    Contextual, well planned approaches to regulatory issues in post-disaster, addressing the complex legal issues that may arise in the aftermath of a disaster with regard to security of tenure and housing, land and property rights