Strengthening disaster law through advocacy in Mexico and Colombia

Strengthening disaster law through advocacy in Mexico and Colombia
As part of its work to strengthen disaster law globally, IFRC Disaster Law has been working with National Societies to strengthen advocacy capacity through legislative advocacy workshops.

Humanitarian diplomacy and legislative advocacy are integral to the work of National Societies. They allow National Societies to harness their unique auxiliary status and utilize their relationships with public authorities to advocate for and address key issues of humanitarian concern, to the benefit of the most vulnerable.

To support these efforts, IFRC Disaster Law, along with National Societies, developed a package of training called the Legislative Advocacy Toolkit (LAT). Since its introduction in 2017, the LAT has become a key resource in training sessions, helping national societies to develop and implement effective advocacy strategies.  In November 2023, this toolkit was used by the Mexican and Colombian Red Cross Societies to hold Legislative Advocacy Workshops with support from IFRC Disaster Law. 


The Mexican Red Cross hosted its workshop at the National Training and Training Center (CENCAD) in Toluca de Lerdo. The event, taking place from November 13 to 15, focused on enhancing the application and understanding of legislative advocacy within the context of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

The workshop aimed to implement practical tools for legislative advocacy, strengthen understanding of the legal framework related to disaster risk management, and develop advocacy strategies. These strategies include legislating the auxiliary role of the Mexican Red Cross, revising the new Civil Protection Law, enhancing financial sustainability, and proposing a project to strengthen the NS auxiliary role. 

The event facilitated an exchange of experiences and highlighted the importance of understanding stakeholders' interests, using negotiation tools, and continuously studying laws and policies to effectively advocate for public policies that benefit disaster management efforts. 


The Colombian Red Cross hosted its Workshop in Bogotá, focusing on disaster risk reduction, management and climate change adaptation This event, held from November 20-22, aimed to equip participants from Colombia Red Cross,, with the tools and knowledge for effective policy advocacy related to disaster preparedness and response. 

Attendees learned about legal frameworks for disaster management and developed three advocacy strategies to support the Red Cross's work at various government levels while emphasizing impartiality, neutrality, and better communication within disaster laws.

Keynote speakers, including the National President of the Colombian Red Cross and IFRC representatives, highlighted the significance of advocacy in improving disaster readiness.

The workshop's success has led to calls for replicating its format in other regions, underscoring the need to bolster advocacy skills within the Red Cross network.