A reconsideration of the fundamental issue of subjectivity in international law, characterised in all its complexity by a legal system in slow but constant evolution, appears as instrumental to a consistent analysis of the role of Non-State Humanitarian Actors (NSHAs) within the International Disaster Law (IDL) domain.

The author assesses how the implementation of consistent practices by NSHAs, and the legitimacy that their engagement can acquire, may ultimately integrate the States’ monopoly in the production and application of international norms concerning the protection of individual rights in disaster scenarios. Since the agency of NSHAs in this respect includes several projects and initiatives, where different aspects – law-making, standard setting and accountability – blend into each other, the chapter will focus on three selected examples, each of which deals with one of those specific functions.

The analysis will demonstrate that the attempts at worldwide harmonisation via traditional international law-making and the self-regulatory dynamics of the transnational civil society, should not be regarded as competing processes of different nature but rather as a converging mechanism aimed at reinforcing the value of human dignity and thus its protection.