News Archives » human right to water and sanitation
NOGs and Religious Groups Call for Inclusion of Human Right to Water and Sanitation in SDGs July 7th, 2014
More than 300 Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), including Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, recently sent a statement to the General Assembly’s Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to explicitly affirm its commitment to protect and promote the human right to water and sanitation within the SDG framework and implementation:
“We join the repeated and insistent calls from civil society around the world to ensure that the SDGs are explicitly aligned to the human rights framework. For the post-2015 development agenda to reach its objective of being just, people-centered, and sustainable, the goals must prioritize-for present and future generations-the human right to water for health, life, food, and culture over other demands on water resources. This is even more critical given the key role of water for achieving other sustainable development objectives such as sustainable energy and food production, gender equality, and climate change mitigation.
SDGs must be designed to catalyze increased capacity and political will for States to fulfill their legally binding obligations to respect, protect, and promote the human right to water and sanitation. Our organizations fear that the human right to water and sanitation continues to be contested within the context of a global competition for scarce water resources. We are concerned that a development agenda that is not explicitly committed to upholding this vital human right may end up undermining it.”
Click here for good resources on the UN Human Right to Water: Human right to water and sanitation | International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015
The materials were developed on the occasion of activities jointly organized by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), UN-Habitat, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) at Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (20-22 June 2011). Click on the following links to access the documents:
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People’s Guide to the UN Human Right to Water and Sanitation June 21st, 2011
The Council of Canadians has released a new report titled Our Right to Water: A People’s Guide to Implementing the United Nations’ Recognition of the Right to Water and Sanitation. Chairperson Maude Barlow wrote the report, available from the Council of Canadians.
On July 28, 2010 the General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution recognizing the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. Two months later, the UN Human Rights Council recognized the human right to water and sanitation in a similar resolution, setting out exactly what this new right entails for governments. Because the Human Rights Council resolution is based on two existing treaties, it rendered binding the first right to water resolution passed by the General Assembly. In other words, as the UN acknowledges, “The right to water and sanitation is a human right, equal to all other human rights, which implies that it is justiciable and enforceable.”
“All governments are now bound by these historic UN resolutions. Whether or not they voted for the two resolutions, every member nation of the UN is now obligated to accept and recognize the human right to water and sanitation and come up with a plan of action based on the obligation to respect, the obligation to protect and the obligation to fulfil these new rights,” says Barlow.