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Strengthening legal preparedness for international disaster assistance ECHO Partners Conference Brussels, 21 October 2010 Elise Baudot-Queguiner Legal.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening legal preparedness for international disaster assistance ECHO Partners Conference Brussels, 21 October 2010 Elise Baudot-Queguiner Legal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening legal preparedness for international disaster assistance ECHO Partners Conference Brussels, 21 October 2010 Elise Baudot-Queguiner Legal Counsel IFRC

2 Context Climate Change More and bigger disasters = more need for intl cooperation More and different responders More complex than ever for recipient governments Lack of legal preparedness Lack of previously established rules for intl assistance

3 IDRL programme Initiated in 2001 –27 legal case studies –Global survey –Desk study –Regional consultations 2007: IDRL Guidelines –Technical assistance –Capacity building –Advocacy

4 Unnecessary regulatory problems Visas, customs, tax, etc. Wrong aid, untrained staff, etc. Impact: reduced access, higher costs, poorer quality

5 Common Problems: Entry and Operations Initiation Visas Customs Taxes Legal Personality Bank Accounts Local Hiring Liability Corruption

6 Common Problems: Quality and Coordination Inappropriate relief items and activities Untrained or unqualified personnel Lack of respect for domestic authorities and relief actors Lack of respect for beneficiaries Failure to coordinate

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8 Regional Law Global & Regional Institutions Sectoral Law Bilateral Agreements Soft Law No Comphensive Legal Regime Human Rights RC /RC (Soft) Law

9 Lack of geographic reach (few parties to treaties) Lack of thematic scope Type of disaster Type of actor Lack of awareness Lack of use Gaps in international instruments

10 The IDRL Guidelines Recommendations to governments on how to prepare domestic legal frameworks for international assistance Adopted by the State Parties to the Geneva Conventions in 2007 Joint EU Member States pledge 4 UN General Assembly resolutions

11 Personnel –Visas –Work permits –Professional qualifications –Freedom of movement Goods and equipment –Customs clearance and duties –Food, vehicles, telecoms, medicines Transport Domestic legal status –Power to open bank accounts, contract, etc. Taxes Security Extended hours Costs The IDRL Guidelines proposed legal facilities

12 Aid providers always: –Abide by domestic and international law –Coordinate with domestic authorities –Abide by humanitarian principles Humanity, neutrality and impartiality To the greatest extent practicable, they: –Meet intl quality standards –Coordinate with other actors –Involve beneficiaries –Use fully trained personnel –Build on local capacities –Ensure transparency The IDRL Guidelines standards

13 The Guidelines and humanitarian actors: the recommended link Humanitarian actor requests legal facilities Govt decides Facilities conditioned on adherence to minimum quality standards Ongoing obligation of recipient to abide by standards Govt monitors progress

14 IFRC/NS technical assistance projects In Follow-up : Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Sierra Leone, Vietnam Underway : Colombia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Peru, Uganda, Vanuatu Starting : Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Tajikistan Under discussion : Argentina, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Kiribati, Philippines, Solomon Islands

15 Not just an issue for developing countries! IDRL EU Study : EU law, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, The Netherlands, United Kingdom Host Nation Support: Belgian Presidency, Nordic states Australia study Under development : Canada, Ireland, Spain, USA

16 Capacity building and partnerships Training –7 regional workshops –Training for UN officials –Short course for governments –Online module (available in November) Partnerships: –UN, World Customs Organization, Inter- Parliamentary Union –ASEAN, OAS, SADC, SOPAC, ECOWAS

17 Examples of use of the IDRL Guidelines New laws/rules adopted Indonesia New Zealand Panama Philippines Norway New SOPs/Guidance ASEAN CAPRADE NATO

18 Other upcoming products Legislative advocacy manual (Nov. 2010) Model law on IDRL (Mid- 2011) DRR law study (Early 2011) Checklist on DRR law (Mid 2011)

19 New report: case studies on disaster law in Asia 1.Indonesia - IDRL 2.Philippines - Law of disaster risk reduction 3. Sri Lanka – Reducing legal barriers to post-disaster shelter solutions

20 What next? We would like to cooperate with more of you on promoting IDRL! We would like to see EU institutions encouraging states to work with their NSs to examine their legal preparedness At our next International Conference, in 2011, states will be invited to report on their progress on IDRL

21 For more information IDRL website: –www.ifrc.org/idrlwww.ifrc.org/idrl –Electronic versions of all publications –Legal database –Bi-monthly newsletter –Weekly news service –Contact:


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