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.

News stories

The IFRC Disaster Law Programme, in primary partnership with ASEAN and Thammasat University, will be holding the 2018 Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Governance Academic Seminar on 24 -26 September 2018 at Thammasat University, Tha Pra Chan Campus, Bangko …

17 September 2018

The Sudanese Red Crescent (SRC) Society has been advocating for the development of a comprehensive legislative framework for Disaster Risk Management and Disaster Risk Reduction in the country since 2015. With the support of the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the SRC has been carrying out a disaster law study to analyse the existing relevant legal and institutional frameworks in country. The draft report was presented at a one-day workshop on the 25th of April in Khartoum.

10 July 2018

The South Sudan Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management (MHADM), with the support of the South Sudan Red Cross (SSRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as well as other partners, has been able to develop a National Disaster Risk Management (NDRM) Policy that is hoped to offer the stepping stone in the development of sound legal frameworks on disaster management in the country. Additionally, due to the complexity of the humanitarian situation in the country, the MHADM has sought and received support in this process from various in-country International organisations such as UNDP, the Partners for Resilience and the Canadian and Netherlands Red Cross.

10 July 2018

The Nepal Red Cross and the IFRC have committed to take action to respond to and prevent Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) in times of disasters, as well as advocate for more inclusive disaster management approaches in law, policy and practice. As part of this, they partnered with the Forum for Women and Law Development in Nepal to deepen the analysis and connections between disaster law and policy, gender equality and SGBV in times of disaster.

10 July 2018

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Document archive

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