IDRL Guidelines


Recent experience has shown that even the best prepared governments may need international support when a major disaster strikes. Unfortunately, few governments have adequate systems in place to facilitate and regulate outside relief.

After years of intensive research and consultations on problems and best practice in the regulation of international disaster relief, the IFRC spearheaded negotiations to develop a new set of international guidelines to help governments strengthen their domestic laws and policies.

On 30 November 2007, the state parties to the Geneva Conventions and the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement unanimously adopted the “Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance” (also known as the “IDRL Guidelines”*) at the 30th International Conference of the Movement. In 2008, the UN General Assembly adopted three resolutions (Res. 63/139, 63/141, and 63/137) encouraging states to make use of them.

The IDRL Guidelines are meant to assist governments to become better prepared for the common legal problems in international response operations. Using the Guidelines, governments can avoid needless delays in the dissemination of humanitarian relief while at the same time ensuring better coordination and quality of the assistance provided.


  • Introduction to the guidelines (pdf, 900 kb, 28 pages) | in French in Spanish | in Arabic| in Chinese | in Greek | in Japanese | in Mongolian | in Russian | in Tajik | in Polish | in Serbian | in Lao | in Vietnamese | in Khmer | in Italian | in Myanmar

  • Guidelines fact sheet  (pdf, 127kb, 2 pages) | en français | en español | in Arabic

  • Annotations on the IDRL guidelines  (pdf, 295 kb, 46 pages) | en français | en español | in Arabic | in Russian
    The annotations have no official status, but serve as an explanatory commentary to the Guidelines. The annotations were not submitted for adoption by the International Conference.
  • Progress in the implementation of the Guidelines for the domestic facilitation and regulation of international disaster relief and initial recovery assistance:  Background paper for the 31st International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (2011) (pdf, 353 kb, 21 pages) | en français | en español | in Arabic 
  • The right aid at the right time (pdf, 994 kb, 38 pages) | en français | en español | in Arabic
    Progress report on the Guidelines for the Domestic Facilitation and Regulation of International Disaster Relief and Initial Recovery Assistance, November 2009

  • 30th International Conference pledges on IDRL chart (pdf, 34 kb, 10 pages)

  • The IDRL Guidelines at the the 31st International Conference

    * The term "IDRL" was borrowed from the name of the IFRC's "International Disaster Response Laws, Rules and Principles" Programme.

    References to the IDRL Guidelines

    In UN General Assembly resolutions - read more

    In UN ECOSOC resolutions - read more

    In other international organisations resolutions - read more

    In regional resolutions - read more

    In Red Cross/Red Crescent resolutions - read more