Human Rights to Water and Sanitation

Water and sanitation are human rights. By now, all United Nations (UN) Member States have recognised the human rights to water and sanitation by supporting one or more international documents, such as resolutions or declarations. There is therefore no question that every person is entitled to water and sanitation.
To make this a reality, our human rights work aims to

  • Further improve the definition of the rights to water and sanitation at the international level;
  • To transfer the international definition into regional policy platforms;
  • To enable WASH sector organizations to use and implement the rights to water and sanitation through their work.

Types of interventions

We do this by:

  • Advocating for the further development of the rights to water and sanitation in UN human rights bodies and regional WASH policy fora.
    Despite full recognition by all UN Member States, discussions on the precise scope and content of the rights to water and sanitation continue. The WASH United Human Rights Team advocates for progressive international documents and broad support for the rights to water and sanitation at the UN level.

    See for example:
  • The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation- Overview of the September 2014 Resolution of the Human Rights Council
  • The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation - A contribution to discussions at the Human Rights Council
  • Developing human rights based WASH interventions.
    WASH United develops new elements for our WASH in Schools curriculum. Students that have participated in the WASH United WinS training know why and how to practice good WASH behaviour. Yet all too often, WASH facilities at schools are inadequate to do just that. Our training with human rights elements will address that by empowering students, teachers and other school stakeholders to tackle the challenges they face.

  • Research and publications.
    WASH United has published several in-depth papers and works together with partners in research projects concerning the human rights to water and sanitation. 

    The WASH United Human Rights Team has contributed to the development of the Handbook by the Special Rapporteur: Realising the human rights to water and sanitation: A Handbook 

    Click here for a full overview of publications

  • Advising WASH sector partners on the meaning of the rights and on how to integrate them into their work.
    WASH United works to assist the WASH sector in integrating the international human rights to water and sanitation into their practical work.

 

 

For further information on the human rights to water and sanitation, please visit www.righttowater.info a website we maintain together with our partners. 

WASH United has fast become one of the leading voices in the movement for the human rights to water and sanitation. It is their interdisciplinary approach that makes their human rights expertise insightful and relevant to both human rights and WASH sector actors. I have been supporting WASH United since the beginning and am honoured to be their ambassador.

- Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation