Information Sheets

These Information Sheets provide a brief overview of the application of law in disaster contexts:

What is International Disaster Law?

International disaster law (IDL) focuses on the legal issues arising from the preparation for, response to and recovery from different natural hazards, such as earthquakes or storms, as well as human-made disasters such as large-scale industrial accidents.

This Information Sheet provides an overview of key legal considerations in disaster contexts: Information Sheet No.1 IDL February 2018

Further resources on IDL

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systemic efforts. It therefore encompasses a broad range of activities – from ensuring that legislative and policy approaches reflect known hazards, to community-based initiatives and technical solutions such as early warning systems.

This Information Sheet focuses specifically on measures that can be taken to prevent, mitigate and prepare for disasters: Information Sheet No.2 DRR February 2018

Further resources on DRR

Gender Based Violence in Disasters

Gender based violence (GBV) is any act or threat of harm inflicted on a person because of their gender. Specific factors which can facilitate increased rates of GBV during a disaster include: the weakening of community and institutional protection mechanisms; disruption of services and community life; destruction of infrastructure; separation of families; displacement; and limited access to justice and health services.

This Information Sheet highlights the extent and impact of gender based violence on women and children in disasters, and required actions to prevent and respond to GBV: Information Sheet No.3 GBV in Disasters March 2018

Further resources on GBV

Human Rights in Disasters

International human rights law is equally applicable in disasters. So local, regional  and  national  authorities have the responsibility to protect, respect and fulfil the human rights of all those affected by disasters. If a state cannot fulfil its minimum core obligations towards those in need, it has an obligation to accept or request assistance from other states.

This Information Sheet highlights the inherent dignity of humans set out in international human rights law, and examines specific rights in disaster contexts: Information Sheet No.4 Human Rights in Disasters March 2018

Further resources on human rights in disasters

Disaster Displacement

Displacement in the context of disasters is a global and increasing phenomenon. Since 2008, disasters stemming from natural hazards have displaced an average of 24.6 million people each year – the equivalent to one person per second.

This Information Sheet examines displacement that arises as a result of disasters and climate change, and distinguishes between internal displacement and cross-border displacement: Information Sheet No.5 Disaster Displacement February 2018

Further resources on disaster displacement

Children’s Rights in Disasters

Children are highly vulnerable to disasters, in part due to their young age, dependency needs and developmental status. In disasters nearly all the rights of children are implicated – ranging from basic survival to freedom from abuse and exploitation, and access to health care and education. All too often, at the critical juncture following a major disaster, children are relegated to the margins.

This Information Sheet examines the specific rights and needs of children in disasters: Information Sheet No.6 Children’s Rights in Disasters March 2018