Good legislation is critical to reducing disaster and climate risks.  Law can set the stage for early warning, financing, community empowerment and accountability – or it can obscure and obstruct the necessary steps.

Malawi flood image

Laws and regulations serve as a foundation for building community resilience. They are essential to reducing existing risks posed by natural hazards, preventing new risks from arising and making people safer. In 2005, the Hyogo Framework for Action highlighted the importance of good legislation to support disaster risk reduction (DRR). The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, adopted in March 2015, calls for a renewed focus on reviewing and strengthening legal frameworks.

In light of this international guidance, many countries have sought to strengthen their laws and regulations for DRR and have been asking:  what should good legislation say about DRR?

Since 2012, The IFRC and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been working on a joint project to research, compare and consult on the efforts of various countries to strengthen how their laws support the reduction of disaster risks, particularly at the community level.  In June 2014, they launched a major new study examining 31 countries and in December 2015, they launched a new tool, The Checklist on Law and Disaster Risk Reduction and its accompanying guide, The Handbook on Law and Disaster Risk Reduction, to provide practical guidance on this area of law.

33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent

Draft resolution (33IC/19/12.5DR) (also available in French, Spanish and Arabic)

o Background document (33IC/19/12.5) (also available in French, Spanish and Arabic)

Annex: The Checklist on Law and Disaster Preparedness and Response (also available in French, Spanish and Arabic)


International Disaster Law Course, San Remo
IFRC COVID-19 Emergency Decree Research

Introducing the COVID-19 Platform

In the Humanitarian Diplomacy and Advocacy page of the platform dedicated to COVID-19,  you will find documents related to Humanitarian Diplomacy and Advocacy. Access this page for all IFRC Review of Emergency Decrees in relation to COVID-19 per country.


News stories

The Pacific region has weathered many storms and bears the brunt of the harsh reality of climate change. Despite this, Pacific people remain resilient and face new and emerging challenges with a sense of solidarity and ingenuity.   So, when COVID- …

27 April 2020

The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act has been signed into law last March 23, 2020 to ramp up efforts to fight COVID-19, including social safety nets and PhilHealth medical assistance to health workers and volunteers who risk their own lives in order to sav …

30 March 2020

Pacific small island states are among the most exposed and vulnerable in the world to disaster and climate risk. In fact, five of the ten most at-risk countries are in the Pacific.   Every year, tens of thousands of people across the region are pu …

21 February 2020

The seventh edition of the International Disaster Law Course will take place in San Remo, Italy, from 1 to 5 June 2020. The course is jointly organized by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in collaboration with the International Federatio …

20 February 2020

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Archive of disaster law news stories from our old website.

Related documents

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The Training Toolkit for Community Early Warning Systems is an operational manual that aims to strengthen early warning systems in a developing country context. It accompanies and should put into practice the guiding strategic principles found in the C …

19 September 2020

Based on the knowledge of the Red Cross Red Crescent in disaster risk management and additional experience gained by partners through pioneering programs such as Partners for Resilience, the Minimum Standards for local climate-smart DRR have been devel …

18 September 2020

In June 2020 the IFRC launched the study: “We Need To Do Better: Policy Brief on Enhancing Laws and Regulations to Protect Children in Disasters.” The study found that children are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation in disasters. Yet, many gov …

25 July 2020
cover PRT

Este estudo de caso analisou o teste do cargo de OCM. Entre março e junho de 2019, uma oficial de coordenação do Movimento foi mobilizada para as operações de emergência em resposta aos ciclones Idai e Kenneth em Moçambique. O método de avaliação consi …

13 May 2020

Document archive

Archive of disaster law publications from our old website. Please bear with us as we bring the documents onto our new platform.