About the Right to Water and Sanitation

How is the Right to Water and Sanitation defined?The definition in the General Comment N°15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (2003) entitled every human being to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use. The Right to Water and Sanitation is fundamental as it helps people enjoy other Human Rights, including to life and human dignity, health, adequate housing, development and a healthy environment. Implementing the Right to Water and Sanitation requires a clear definition of rights, obligations and responsibilities of each party, the identification of an authority to oversee its implementation and allocation of adequate human and financial resources. Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, has stated that States and non-State services should target efforts at enforcing those rights in national legislations and action plans. Among other things, the resolution asks States to ensure transparency, non-discrimination and accountability regardless of how water services are provided. In July 2010 the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council recognised the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

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