International disaster response law (IDRL)

International disaster relief law (IDRL) is an emerging area of international law designed specifically to improve the humanitarian response to natural disasters. It thus fills both a gap and a need, given the focus of IHL upon conflict situations and the increasing frequency and impact of natural disasters. In a process led by the IFRC, IDRL draws on existing law, rules, principles and guidance. It aims to contribute to a more effective oversight and regulation of the disaster response by local authorities while pushing towards more effective and accountable relief efforts.
Rescue worker with dog looking for survivors after natural disaster
Photo: Jessica Lea/DFID

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