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.

  • • For more the Global Disaster Law Programme click here.
  • • For more on the Africa Disaster Law Programme click here.

  • News Stories

    Sudan IDRL Report

    This report studies the facilitation and regulation of international humanitarian assistance at the time of disasters as governed by the legal and Institutional framework in place in Sudan. The study is informed by the “Guidelines for the domestic faci…

    Child Protection in Disasters Casa Study – Uganda

    This study was commissioned by the IFRC as part of the global initiative on “Effective law and policy for addressing child protection in disaster risk management” and implemented by Uganda Red Cross Society. The overall goal for the study was to assess …

    Book Launch: Yearbook of International Disaster Law

    Disasters caused by natural and technological hazards are a commonplace phenomenon causing extensive negative impacts as exemplified by the World Disasters Report elaborated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) …

    Workshop: Towards Climate Smart Policy Frameworks that leave no one behind.

    The Disaster Law organized a regional workshop to bring together National Societies and their Governments from across Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss ways to strengthen domestic legislation and policy to ensure an effective climate smart approach to disasters. This included discussions around integrating protection and inclusion of vulnerable groups into relevant disaster laws and policies in order to ensure that no one is left behind in disaster risk management activities…

    Regional Disaster Law & Legislative Advocacy Workshop.

    The Disaster Law regional workshop aimed at providing an intensive training to African, Latin America and Caribbean National Societies on the key thematic areas, tools and resources developed by IFRC to strengthen national legal framework for effective disaster risk management…

    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 …

    See more news stories


    Disaster Law

    Disaster Law & Legislative Advocacy Regional Workshop

    Towards Climate Smart Frameworks Workshop

    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.

    Image Alt Text

    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.


    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.


    Disaster Law Resources

    International disaster response laws, rules and principles (IDRL)

    Disaster Risk Reduction Law

    Domestic Preparedness and Response

    Protection and Gender Law


    Disaster Law Themes

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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

    Generic placeholder image

    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