The International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent has recognized the importance of strong disaster laws in the last four Conferences and has consistently tasked all states party to the Geneva conventions and all Movement components to contribute to progress in this area through the adoption of various resolutions (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015), looking particularly at issues related to the facilitation and regulation of international disaster response, regulatory barriers to post-disaster shelter, and effective legislation for disaster risk reduction.

Furthermore, resolutions in 2011 and 2015 affirmed the role of the International Conference itself as a “key international forum for continued dialogue on the strengthening of disaster laws and on recovery action in synergy with actions conducted by States and international organisations.”

33rd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (9 - 12 December 2019)

The 33rd International Conference took of progress from these past themes and built on the tradition to move the agenda forward, with a focus on domestic preparedness and response. The resolution ‘Disaster laws and policies that leave no one behind’ proposed, among others, that states:

– strengthen domestic legislation and policy to ensure effective and climate-smart approach to disasters, including by recognizing the new “Checklist on law and disaster preparedness and response” as an important and useful tool,

– recognize the importance of 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,

– recognize the ongoing leadership provided by National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the area of disaster law, including in the development, dissemination and implementation of effective legal and policy frameworks relevant to climate-smart disaster risk management, development of high-quality research and state-of-the-art recommendations.



32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (8 - 11 December 2015)

On December 8-11, 2015, the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent took place in Geneva, bringing together the States parties to the Geneva Conventions, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and partner organisations.

Ever since 2003, the International Conference has been a central international forum for assessing and advancing the state of disaster law worldwide. Previous resolutions on this topic can be found here.  Background documents and decisions on disaster law at the 31st International Conference in 2011 can be found here.

In 2015, the Conference addressed three themes related to disaster law:

  1. accelerating progress in the facilitation and regulation of international disaster response;
  2. strengthening laws for disaster risk reduction; and
  3. providing supportive legal frameworks for saving lives through first aid.

The Conference unanimously adopted Resolution 6 (Strengthening legal frameworks for disaster response,
risk reduction and first aid)
 committing to further progress on all three themes.  Pledges from States and National Societies to undertake activities related to the resolution will continue to be welcomed.  A model text for pledges related to strengthening legal frameworks fordisaster response, risk reduction and first aid can be found found here.

More information on the Conference can be found here.

31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (28 November - 1 December 2011)

In November 2011, the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent took up the issue of strengthening disaster laws at the domestic level.  This year, the Conference looked at:

  1. progress in implementing the “Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance” (also known as the “IDRL Guidelines”);
  2. how legislation can support disaster risk reduction at the community level; and
  3. creative ways to ovecome regulatory barriers to providing emergency and transitional shelter after disasters.

On November 28, the IFRC, OCHA and IPU released the pilot version of the “Model Act for the Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance” during the 31st International Conference. Click here for more information on the Model Act.

Moreover, an important Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed at the International Conference between the IFRC and OCHA to strengthen the cooperation of the two agencies on IDRL.


30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (26 - 30 November 2007)