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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

IASC Operational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural Disasters

Disaster (natural, epidemic, climatic, etc.) , Human Rights and Children's Rights, Protection and Child Protection
Resource Type
Manual/Handbook/Guidance Document
Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement
Publish Date


Filename File Size
IASC_2006_Protecting_persons_affected_by_natural_disasters 886 KB Download


There are guidelines on humanitarian action in emergencies, including situations of natural disaster. There are also standards on protecting human rights in situations of armed conflict, internal displacement and refugee situations. Guidance is lacking, however, on how to protect the human rights of individuals affected by natural disasters.

These Operational Guidelines are addressed to intergovernmental and non-governmental humanitarian actors when they are called upon to become active just before or in the aftermath of a natural disaster. The Operational Guidelines do not list the rights of persons as enshrined in international law. Rather, they focus on what humanitarian actors should do in order to implement a rights-based approach to humanitarian action in the context of natural disasters.3 They call on humanitarian actors to look beyond their core mandate and to have a holistic vision of the needs of the people they have been asked to serve.While these Guidelines have been drafted with the consequences of natural disasters in mind, most of them are also relevant in preparation for or after other kinds of disasters4 have struck.