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

The Mongolian disaster and climate legal landscape has taken big steps in the last decade, including revision of Disaster protection law and establishment of disaster risk reduction councils nationwide. The 2017 Disaster protection law and implementing …

15 January 2020

Jakarta, 20-21 November 2019. The IFRC and AHA Centre organized a 2-day workshop on the “Management of International Assistance” for Southeast Asia governments and Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies (“NS”).  It was the first collaboration betwee …

18 December 2019

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

Announcement: Third International and Comparative Disaster Law Essay Contest, 2020  Call for Abstracts Introduction This announcement calls for the submission of abstracts not exceeding 500 words for consideration for the third “International and Compa …

30 September 2019

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Related documents

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Literature Review CCA and DRR image thumbnail

Resolutions and reports adopted at the international level in the last few years provide that a more consistent and sustainable alignment between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) is today considered a global priority. T …

17 December 2019

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