The Human Right to Water and Sanitation (new publications by Amnesty International and by WASH United and Waterlex)

  • F H Mughal
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The Human Right to Water and Sanitation (new publications by Amnesty International and by WASH United and Waterlex)

The Human Right to Water and Sanitation


All human beings are entitled to safe water, in adequate quantities with easy physical access and, appropriate sanitation. United Nations General Comment No. 15 (E/C.12/2002/11 of 20 January 2003) covers the right to water.

The United Nations General Assembly document A/HRC/24/44 (Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque) focuses on the sustainability in the realization the human rights to water and sanitation. All UN Member States have recognized the human right to water and sanitation to be binding on them.

Amnesty International and WASH United have produced an excellent publication titled “Recognition of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation by UN Member States at the International Level.” The document is available at:
wash-united.org/files/washunited/resourc...%20HRWS_WEB_2015.pdf

The publication gives an overview of resolutions and declarations that recognize the human rights to water and sanitation. In addition to significant useful information, of interest is the fact that it gives country position of many countries. It is sad that, in spite of advancements on human rights aspect, many populations, especially the marginalized population, continue to suffer in the field of water and sanitation.

Earlier, in January 2015, WASH United and Waterlex issued a publication titled: “The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Courts Worldwide – A Selection of National, Regional and International Case Law.” This publication, a compilation of law cases, shows increasing trends in applying the human rights to water and sanitation, by the judiciary.

According to the document:

“This Thematic Guide provides for an overview of both the human rights principles of most relevance to the realisation of the rights to water and sanitation, and the categories that define the normative content of the rights to water and sanitation.

Each case summarised in this publication revolves around one or several principles (non-discrimination and equality, access to information, participation, accountability and sustainability) as defined in international human rights law and/or around one or several human rights criteria (availability, physical accessibility, acceptability, affordability, and quality and safety).”


The publication can be accessed at:

www.waterlex.org/new/wp-content/uploads/...-Law-Compilation.pdf

A Pakistan case is given at pp. 184. I find this interesting and, hope that the forum users will find both documents useful and interesting.


F H Mughal

F H Mughal (Mr.)
Karachi, Pakistan
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