The auxiliary role of National Societies involves supporting public authorities through humanitarian services, while acting in accordance with the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
It is important that the auxiliary role is reflected and supported by domestic laws, policies, plans and agreements. For example, domestic laws should specify National Societies' roles and responsibilities in sectors such as health, disaster risk management, migration and social welfare.
If there is no law that clearly specifies the National Society’s role, or if it is old or outdated, then a new law needs to be developed and enacted. This is a big task, but here are some of the things you can do to help enact a new law.
Be clear about what you want. What will be in the new law and why is a new law needed?
Build relationships. For the law to be passed, it needs champions within parliament. Who supports this new law? What support do you need to get it put before government?
Set targets. When does the new law need to be decided on? What needs to be done before then? Set clear timelines and deliverables.
Increase public support. Create a public campaign that explains in clear, simple language why the new law is needed. How will it help people? What impact will it have?
Collect signatures. At the end of the campaign, collect signatures to show to the government. Public support for the campaign will increase the likelihood of the law passing.
Keep going. Getting a new law passed can be a long process. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to work with champions of the law internally and externally to keep up the momentum and support for the new law. Advocate for the work you do now and the work the law will enable you to do in the future.
Find out more about how the Argentine Red Cross advocated for a new Red Cross law here.