How do I use it?

Every search category you enter narrows the number of documents your search will produce.  You may use any combination of the categories provided. 

  • Under “Title” you can search for one or more words in a document title.
  • Under “Type of document” you can specify either a global, regional, bilateral, national, or provincial legal instrument or a book/article/report. For legal instruments you also have the option of searching for a treaty, a declaration/ resolution, a law, or a policy/plan.
  • When seeking a book/article/report you can also search by “Name of the author”.  Note that no “author” is coded for laws and other legal instruments.
  • Under “Region” you can limit your search to documents concerning a particular region.
  • Under “Country” you can narrow your search to documents relevant to a specific country. Results will include documents of legal relevance to them.  Please note that inclusion or exclusion of a “country” in this list does not imply any opinion by the IFRC as to its legal status as a state under international law.
  • By choosing from the list under “Language”, you will limit your search to documents in that language. (Note that, in many cases, English translations of documents have been posted on this database rather than their original versions.
  • You can also limit your search by “Date” of the document. If you want to search for documents between two dates you can enter them in the spaces provided. If you only know the year, there is no need to fill in the month or day. If you want all documents after a certain date, leave the second date input section (after the word ‘and’) blank. Similarly, if you want all documents before a certain date, leave the first date input section (after the word ‘between’) blank.
  • Using “Additional search categories,” you can not only limit the number of documents produced by the search but, where relevant, you can find an indication of specific sections of the document relevant to your search category.  If available, this information will appear in the “Information Document” if you click on the “i” symbol.  The categories include:
  1. “Type of disaster”, such as a disaster which is multi-hazard, hydrological/meteorological, geophysical, technological and environmental or also food insecurity;
  2. “Focus”, including international assistance, armed conflict/generalized violence, epidemic control, disaster risk reduction, disaster rescue and relief, disaster recovery, reconstruction/development or legal facilities for relief providers;
  3. “Sector” of disaster response, such as food/nutrition, water and sanitation, protection/ security, health, housing, environment or telecommunications;
  4. “Actors involved”, including governments, international actors national entities; and
  5. “Definitions of key terms”, like the definition of the words: disaster, emergency, prevention, vulnerability, hazard, risk, disaster management, relief and more.