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

News stories

Yearbook of International Disaster Law Brill/Nijhoff Publisher Call for Abstracts Vol. No. 2 (2019) – Deadline for abstracts: 31st October 2019   ABOUT THE YIDL The Yearbook of International Disaster Law (YIDL) aims to foster the interest of acade …

11 October 2019

nnouncement: 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 Comp …

30 September 2019

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 …

30 August 2019

By Agnes Ndaaba The rainy season in Uganda brings mixed feelings and reactions. To some, it is welcome while to others, it spells doom and awakens very bad memories. In April, Buyende District was at the receiving end of Mother Nature following heavy r …

28 June 2019

See more news stories

News archive

Archive of disaster law news stories from our old website.

Related documents

See more at the Disaster law document library

DPR_Checklist_Final_EN thumbnail_Screen.jpg

Following numerous requests from National Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, IFRC embarked on this project to develop a Checklist on Law and Disaster Preparedness and Response (DPR Checklist), to support governments, National Societies and other stakeho …

21 November 2019
DPR_Literature Review Report_EN thumbnail cover.jpg

This literature review is part of a project to support governments to include effective domestic preparedness and response elements in their legal frameworks for disaster risk management. The review is part of the preparatory analysis, research and evi …

21 November 2019
Fourth Progress Report IDRL thumbnail

In 2007, the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent adopted the Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance (also known as the IDRL Guidelines). The IDRL G …

14 November 2019

Document archive

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