Legal first aid for first aid providers
We are supporting the IFRC Global First Aid Reference Centre (GFARC), hosted by the French Red Cross, with research to establish first aid providers’ liability and identify gaps and best practices.
Image: Rescue workers prepare to deliver supplies to remote communities in Indonesia
Our research, including an analysis of the best practices and arguments for advocacy work, will be shared with the 191 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world.
Our global review of first aid legislation prioritizes countries where the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies should focus their efforts to improve legal protection of the lay public when providing first aid. The research, including an analysis of the best practices and arguments for advocacy work, will be shared by the GFARC with the 191 Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies around the world.
Our lawyers reviewed the legislation of 65 countries in the course of three months. The review was conducted by 55 associates and 14 partners from 20 offices on five continents. Lawyers selected the countries they would review, which allowed them to match their interests, language skills and qualifications to the requirements.
It was a challenge to design a questionnaire for a targeted, standardized report on each country, yet still cover all applicable criminal, civil, financial and draft legislation that could impact a first aid provider. For instance, in some countries, the team discovered that first aid providers who transport injured people to the hospital could be held liable for their medical bills.
Our work was led by partner Bertrand Liard in Paris, supported by Johannesburg associates Rekha Ajoodha and Janine Howard, as well as Paris-based trainee Alex Salehi.
“Doing pro bono work like this is always rewarding and fulfilling for us, and we hope it will be helpful for society in general,” said Bertrand. “In addition, a project like this one calls on the reach of the entire Firm to succeed, and forges links between our lawyers in different practice areas and offices who may not have worked together but share a passion for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ work.”
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