July 15, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI calls for the recognition of the right to water
There is a right to water based on the dignity of the human person and water is not simply an economic good, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed in a message to the international exposition on "Water and Sustainable Development" in Zaragoza, Spain. The Pope also stressed that water management must be rational and based on solidarity, the "fruit of a balanced synergy between the public and private sectors". More info...
June 5, 2008
The Government of Quebec, Canada, moves towards the recognition of the right to water
According to Bill 92, which affirms the collective nature of water resources and provides for increased water resources protection, water is for everyone's use and must be accessible in the quantity and quality required to meet every individual's essential needs. Article 2 of Bill 92states that it is the right of every person to have access to water that is safe for drinking, cooking and personal hygine in accordance with the law. More info...
March 28, 2008
UN Human Rights Council Moves Forward on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation
On March 28, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus a resolution sponsored by Germany and Spain (and more than 40 co-sponsors) establishing an Independent Expert on human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. This means that the UN human rights system now has a separate mechanism exclusively dedicated to issues related to the right to water and sanitation. The resolution also confirms that governments have obligations to ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation under international human rights law. The text of the resolution and an analysis of its implications is available at www.cohre.org/water > New Developments.
March 3, 2008
The Netherlands officially recognises the right to water
In the opening of the 7th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 March 2008, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, announced that the Netherlands is to recognise the right to water as a human right. Verhagen called on the Human Rights Council to make haste in reaching consensus on the right to water. He said that recognising the right to water as a human right would not solve the pressing issue of illness and high mortality rates, but was certain that it would be a powerful incentive to increase access to water for the poor. With the recognition of the right to water as a human right, the Netherlands will be able to point out to the governments of developing countries that they must do everything in their power to fulfill their people’s right to water.
Last year, on World Water Day, 22 March 2007, Minister for Development Cooperation, Bert Koenders, announced that he wanted the Netherlands to play a prominent role in getting the right to water recognised as a human right. Koenders said that this is necessary to make water a political priority and that he wanted Dutch embassies to push for the right to water at country level.
January 27, 2008
Manual on the Right to Water and Sanitation
There is growing interest in the contributions of human rights to efforts to extend access to water and sanitation, but little practical information is available at present on how this can be achieved. The Manual on the Right to Water and Sanitation is designed to assist policy makers and practitioners in implementing the right to water and sanitation. This publication has been produced by the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
The full Manual and an executive summary are available for download at www.cohre.org/manualrtws
December 4, 2007
Asia-Pacific Leaders support the right to water
At the 1st Asia-Pacific Water Summit held in Beppu, Japan, on 3 - 4 December 2007, ten Heads of State and Government, 31 Ministers, and representatives from over 36 Asia-Pacific countries and regions supported the right to water. In the unanimously endorsed "Message from Beppu" they declare:
"We, the leaders of the Asia-Pacific, do hereby agree to:
- recognise the people's right to safe drinking water and basic sanitation as a basic human right and a fundamental aspect of human security;
- reduce by the half the number of people who do not have access to safe drinking water by 2015 and aim to reduce that number to zero by 2025;
- reduce by half number of people who do not have access to basic sanitation in our region by 2015 and aim to reduce that number to zero by 2025".
The full version of the Message is available here.
August 16, 2007
The UN OHCHR has finalised the study
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has presented the report on the scope and content of the relevant human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation under international human rights instruments to the 6th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, September 2007. This document makes a significant contribution into further clarification of the access to drinking water as a human right. It discusses the obligations of states in relation to access to safe drinking water, their scope and content, nature and monitoring, and points to areas needing further elaboration. The report concludes: "It is now time to consider access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right, defined as the right to equal and non-discriminatory access to a sufficient amount of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses ... to sustain life and health."
June 10, 2007
Study led by the UN OHCHR: follow-up
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) presently conducts a study at the request of the UN Human Rights Council on the scope and content of human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation. This study will be presented at the sixth session of the UN Human Rights Council in September 2007.The World Water Council (WWC) attended the consultation day organised in Geneva, 11th May and gave the report “Right to Water: From Concept to Implementation” as contribution. The WWC was also invited to participate to the International Expert Seminar which took place on 5-6 June 2007 in Berlin. This seminar aimed to assist the OHCHR in fulfilling the mandate given by the Human rights Council through receiving expert advice on the shape, contour and practical implications on international human rights obligations related to safe drinking water and sanitation.
(For further information, click here)
February 19, 2007
World Water Day: 22nd March 2007
Coping With Water scarcity
'Coping with Water Scarcity' is the theme for World Water Day 2007, which is celebrated each year on 22 March. This year's theme highlights the increasing significance of water scarcity worldwide and the need for increased integration and cooperation to ensure sustainable, efficient and equitable management of scarce water resources, both at international and local levels. Read full article
December 11, 2006
The French Draft Water Law is currently being examined
in a second reading !
The Draft Water Law is examined in a second reading by the French National Assembly from Monday, December 11th to Wednesday, 13th. Just under 200 amendments were tabled by the deputies. Further to the adoption in the second reading by the French National Assembly, a mixed joint commission should be created because number of disagreements between each legislature remain.
November 27, 2006
The Human rights Council looks into the right to water
In a decision on human rights and access to water (A/HRC/2/L.3/Rev.3), the Council requested the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to conduct a detailed study on the scope and content of the relevant human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation under international human rights instruments. This study will be submitted prior to the sixth session of the Council which will occur in September 2007. More info
Original text of the Resolution (Pdf, 33 Ko)
September 12, 2006
The French Senate Supports the "Right to Water"...
Within the framework of the examination of the Draft Water Law, French Senators adopted an amendment establishing the "right to water", as defined during the 4th World Water Forum of Mexico City in March 2006. Read full article (in French only).
September 12, 2006
Synthesis and Final Report on the 4th Forum of Mexico now available...
Through this publication, the Forum’s co-organizers hope to facilitate the follow-up process and monitor implementation of commitments launched at the Forum, such as announcements that were made or partnerships that were formed, providing continuity between similar events. Read full article. Download the Synthesis Report: English version (PDF, 4.2 MB) - Descargar la Síntesis del Foro: versión española (PDF, 2.6 MB). Download the Final Report, English version (PDF, 17.5 MB). Descargar el Informe final, versión española (PDF, 17.5 MB).
July 20, 2006
Pakistan: safe drinking water act likely in 2006...
The safe drinking water act in Pakistan is likely to be enacted in 2006. It would set technical and supply standards for municipal bodies and make them accountable to the general public. The Ministry of Environment has proposed the Act in its National Water Drinking Policy. The Act will declare safe drinking water a fundamental human right and the responsibility of the State. All water schemes will be based on the provision of a minimum of 20 litres per capita per day for rural households and 40 litres per capita per household for urban areas. Read more. Source: http://www.dawn.com
June 8, 2006
Among the themes that were highly featured in Mexico was the Right to Water...
The WWC, co-author of the report "The Right to Water: From Concept to Implementation" launched in March, has assembled a panorama of the progress and initiatives on the Right to Water issue made during the 4th World Water Forum. Access to the Synthesis (PDF, 120 KB).
May 16, 2006
Residential water use to be limited in Shanghai
Shanghai aims to limit residential water consumption per person to within 0.155 cubic meters a day by 2010 and revise the quota for business and industrial water users to improve use efficiency. The Shanghai Water Authority said yesterday it will employ a new pricing system setting lower rates for frugal water use.
Source: China View
March 19, 2006
The Right to Water : from concept to implementation
This is the title of the new WWC report launched today in Mexico, the result of a program launched in 2005 by the WWC and five partners, that aimed at analysing the measures needed to implement the right to water at the local level and their effectiveness. Included in the report is a list of case studies.
Full press release - Communiqué de presse - Full report (pdf 1.28M)
February 7, 2006
Religious organisations move water up on their agenda
The human right to water will be an issue discussed at the 9th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 14-23 February, a gathering of delegates from 348 member churches representing 500 million members. More on IRC's website: http://www.irc.nl/page/2365