Stigmatization in the realization of the right to water and sanitation
In response to the call for contributions from the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation on the question of stigmatization in the realisation of the right to water and sanitation, WASH United together with partner organisations conducted interviews with sanitation workers and community members in six countries of the Global North (Germany and the Netherlands) and South (Ghana, India, Kenya and Lesotho).
We decided to focus our research on sanitation workers, as in countries of the Global South, sanitation workers are among the most discriminated groups in society. The work is often extremely unhygienic, which can easily lead to stigmatization. Where work standards are higher, stigmatization may still exist on the basis of perceptions and prejudices in the population. Therefore we also focussed on countries in the North, where work standards are very high, but where sanitation work is still seen as something which is disgusting, or embarrassing.
We shared our findings at the well attended consultation of the Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation on the 1st of February 2012. We are looking forward to the final report of the Special Rapporteur on stigmatization in the realization of the right to water and sanitation, to be released this summer.
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