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Centre for Humanitarian Action

Lárionad um Ghníomh Daonnúil

Irish Red Cross International Disaster Relief Law Study

UCD Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) has been commissioned by Irish Red Cross to produce a report aimed at determining how Ireland’s legal and policy framework for facilitating international disaster relief can be strengthened. CHA has been committed to the promotion of international disaster response law since its emergence in 2007 with the adoption of the Guidelines for the Domestic Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance at the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. 

Legal issues are often overlooked as part of preparedness planning for disasters. This is particularly so for situations where international assistance may be needed.   Sadly, vital international support can be hampered during large-scale disaster operations by issues such as: a lack of legal recognition for foreign relief providers; customs delays and tax requirements for medication, relief goods and equipment; complications with visas for relief personnel; and a lack of recognition of foreign professional qualifications in emergency situations. While it may always be hoped that international disaster relief will never be required in Ireland or in any other country for that matter, it is essential to be prepared. The research conducted by CHA will investigate the extent to which Ireland’s existing legal and policy framework prevents or mitigates such issues from arising and will also provide recommendations in consultation with the relevant stakeholders concerning how Ireland can strengthen its legal preparedness in accordance with international guidelines. The report will be presented at a national workshop organised by the Irish Red Cross in October 2013.  For further information concerning the study please contact Ronan at