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Stefano Silingardi

If the shift in perception of companies as major stakeholders and strategic partners in multiple aspects of disaster relief and response activities is now reasonably well advanced, the normative and functional frameworks surrounding the private sector engagement are less so. This chapter aims to analyse, first, the many gaps, weaknesses and loopholes that still exist, both in international law, regional law and domestic law frameworks concerning the legal treatment of businesses as assisting actors. Additionally, the necessity to set up an international coordination mechanism will be taken into account in order for companies to be fully integrated into the humanitarian system; as well as the requirement that the voluntary approach so far followed by private actors through codes of conduct, best practices and standards be replaced by the establishment of corporate guidelines and/or that a set of binding principles on business engagement in disaster response be adopted.