E-discussion for the UN Special Rapporteur’s Handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation

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  • SuSanA secretariat currently allocates 2 full time person equivalents of time from members of GIZ Sustainable Sanitation Team: Arne Panesar, Alexandra Dubois, Maren Heuvels, Teresa Häberlein, Daphne Manolakos and Bettina-Sophie Heinz.
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Re: E-discussion for the UN Special Rapporteur’s Handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation

There has been another invitation to participate in an e-discussion on the development of the Handbook for Realizing the Rights to Water and Sanitation.

This e-Discussion will take place from January 29th to March 10th 2014 and will be hosted by the UN Human Rights Policy network – HuriTALK. Contributions to the e-Discussion will be disseminated on HuriTALK and other participating knowledge networks.

You can participate by sending your responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by accessing the online UN platform ‘Teamworks’ where you can post comments and access relevant resources related to the e-Discussion at http: www.unteamworks.org/HandbookWatSan .


More Information from the Organisers:
The Special Rapporteur is pursuing a collaborative approach to the development of this handbook, firstly in the identification of the key barriers, challenges and opportunities that stakeholders encounter in realizing the rights to water and sanitation, and then further in the testing and verification of the checklists and recommendations to be featured in the handbook. This collaborative approach will ensure that the Handbook is relevant and helpful to practitioners working in the field and beyond the mandate of the current Special Rapporteur.

The e-discussion is an important opportunity to share experiences, good practices and lessons learned on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in ensuring access to water and sanitation services especially to those groups that are excluded for a range of reasons. Consideration of non-discrimination and the elimination of inequalities are crucial in each of the five areas of implementation mentioned above (namely legal, policy and regulatory frameworks, financing, service delivery, awareness-raising and accountability and monitoring) that we have defined as the most significant actions to realise the rights to water and sanitation.

Through this e-discussion and the interaction with UN practitioners from different agencies and country teams, scholars, representatives of governments, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations, WASH sector professionals as well as independent experts, participants can ensure that a broad diversity of contexts, experiences and perspectives support the sections of the Handbook that focus on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in access to water and sanitation services.

Weeks 1 and 2 (29 January – 10 February 2014) will reflect on general experiences in supporting access to water and sanitation including some of the main challenges of discrimination in service delivery in realizing the rights to water and sanitation. Lessons learned and good practices in addressing discrimination, inequalities and exclusion in accessing water and sanitation services in development programmes, particularly for marginalized individuals and groups, will also be reflected upon.

Weeks 3 and 4 (10 – 24 February 2014) will focus on how principles of non-discrimination and equality can be incorporated into legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks and financing for water and sanitation. There will also be a focus on the main challenges to include non-discrimination in an effective and successful way as well as to ensure substantive equality.

Weeks 5 and 6 (24 February – 10 March 2014) will focus on accountability and monitoring and discuss whether the rights to water and sanitation can increase the accountability of States towards individuals and groups that are discriminated against and whether accountability and monitoring systems have improved access to services for marginalized groups or individuals. Awareness-raising and advocacy strategies that promote non-discriminatory practices effectively in ensuring that marginalized and / or vulnerable individuals and groups receive relevant messages and information will also be discussed.

(Posted by Roslyn)
Posted by a member of the SuSanA secretariat held by the GIZ Sector Program Water Policy – Innovations for Resilience
Located at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Bonn, Germany
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  • pascalgarde
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E-discussion for the UN Special Rapporteur’s Handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation

Dear all,

Please see below for details of an e-discussion hosted by the Rural Water Supply Network to feed in to the UN Special Rapporteur’s handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation

from 28th October to 15th November 2013

The e-discussion will focus on three areas –

· non-discrimination - how stakeholders can ensure inclusion of disadvantaged individuals and groups;

· sustainability – how stakeholders engage for long-term and affordable access to services;

· and the specific roles and responsibilities that the discussants have to realise the rights to water and sanitation.

This is an important opportunity to help clarify important issues, share examples and help me produce a handbook that is as relevant as possible for practitioners on the ground.

Please can you share this with partners and colleagues who may like to take part in the discussion.

Thanks very much and best wishes



UN Special Rapporteur’s Handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation: From policy to practice

The human rights to water and sanitation are no longer just a statement of political will but are increasingly being used as important tools for ensuring universal access to water and sanitation. This e-discussion will help sharpen these tools and make sure they are useful for the real problems faced by WASH practitioners.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque is writing a Handbook to provide practical guidance on how to realise the rights to water and sanitation. Since her appointment in September 2008 she has been working to clarify what the realization of the rights entails, and how States and other stakeholders can implement the most significant aspect of the rights. The mandate she was entrusted with by the United Nations has given her the opportunity to engage with countless State actors, service providers, regulators, NGOs, civil society organisations and, at last but not least people have given her the background knowledge and the necessary authority to develop pragmatic guidance, finding solutions to the challenges and key issues of realizing the rights to water and sanitation.

The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is hosting a three-week e-discussion from 28th October to 15th November 2013 to discuss specific aspects of realising the human rights to water and sanitation as discussed in the Handbook. This will enable RWSN members and other rural water supply stakeholders to share their experiences and challenges with respect to realizing the obligations, responsibilities and commitments defined by the rights to water and sanitation.

The e-discussion asks ‘what are the roles and responsibilities of the various actors in realizing the rights to water and sanitation’ and will enable participants to reflect on discussions to-date, share experiences and thoughts on the commitments demanded by the rights from the perspective of Governments and NGOs. This is an opportunity to propose what needs to be done by themselves and others to ensure universal access to sustainable water and sanitation services, and to close the current gap in access between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’.

The e-discussion will focus on three areas – non-discrimination - how stakeholders can ensure inclusion of disadvantaged individuals and groups; sustainability – how stakeholders engage for long-term and affordable access to services; and the specific roles and responsibilities that the discussants have to realise the rights to water and sanitation.

We are looking for wide participation from people working within national governments, local governments, service providers (public or private), NGOs, other networks and donors including international organisations such as UNICEF, so please let people know about this.

The e-discussion is open to anyone who registers on next.dgroups.org/RWSN/equity by 27th October 2013. If you are not a member of RWSN, but are interested in the topic, we also encourage you to join. If you have problems joining, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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