Better conditions for the world’s first responders

2 min read

When emergencies arise, there is an immediate need for a short-term response. This response has been enhanced in recent years as global aid organizations bring experience gained elsewhere to new events, improving efficiency and speed.

While we have offered immediate assistance to relief efforts where we can, we have also sought ways to support longer-term improvements in disaster preparedness and response. In 2017, a team of 32 lawyers and seven legal assistants based in Abu Dhabi, Astana, Doha, Dubai, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Riyadh and Seoul worked with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to consider how best it can work within government disaster preparedness frameworks and how to improve on these.

The IFRC is the world's largest humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people through 190 national societies. It acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to help vulnerable people. The memo prepared by our lawyers provides a review and recommendations on disaster management in seven jurisdictions—Australia, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Palestine, South Africa and South Korea.

Isabelle Granger, Legislative Advocacy Coordinator for the IFRC, comments: "The information provided by White & Case is crucial in helping the IFRC develop a checklist on law and disaster preparedness and response. This new tool will support law and policy makers in considering key elements to include in their legal framework for disaster risk management to adequately address preparedness and response."

Helping those fleeing violence and persecution

Our lawyers in France, Germany, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the UAE, UK and US are assisting people crossing borders to safer lives. These individuals are fleeing armed conflict, gang violence, physical or sexual abuse, or persecution based on gender identity, sexual orientation and political or religious beliefs. Our lawyers are applying for the legal relief available to these individuals in each country and working to strengthen the legal frameworks for freedom of movement.