Right to water and sanitation is legally binding, affirms key UN body

Right to water and sanitation is legally binding, affirms key UN body
The main United Nations body dealing with human rights has affirmed that the right to water and sanitation is contained in existing human rights treaties, and that States have the primary responsibility to ensure the full realisation of this and all other basic human rights.
Mon, 4 Oct 2010
GENEVA, Switzerland (UN NEWS CENTRE) —- – The main United Nations body dealing with human rights has affirmed that the right to water and sanitation is contained in existing human rights treaties, and that States have the primary responsibility to ensure the full realisation of this and all other basic human rights. While the General Assembly declared in July that safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights, this is the first time that the Human Rights Council has declared itself on the issue. “This means that for the UN, the right to water and sanitation, is contained in existing human rights treaties and is therefore legally binding,” said the UN Independent Expert on human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque. “This landmark decision has the potential to change the lives of the billions of human beings who still lack access to water and sanitation,” she said of the resolution adopted yesterday by the Geneva-based Council. Almost 900 million people worldwide do not have access to clean water and more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Studies also indicate about 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases. The Assembly’s resolution recognized the fundamental right to clean water and sanitation, but did not specify that the right entailed legally binding obligations. The Council closed this gap by clarifying the foundation for recognition of the right and the legal standards which apply, according to a news release. “The right to water and sanitation is a human right, equal to all other human rights, which implies that it is justiciable and enforceable,” said Ms. de Albuquerque. “Hence from today onwards we have an even greater responsibility to concentrate all our efforts in the implementation and full realization of this essential right.”
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About Alan

Settling into my 7th decade and still determined not to grow up too soon.
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One Response to Right to water and sanitation is legally binding, affirms key UN body

  1. stefford says:

    The problem is “rights” are a human construct, and as admirable as they are, they are a joke until someone can and will enforce them. All very well if a country ratifies them and tries to do something, but as i already mentioned there are rights all over the world going wanting. Who is ensuring that people can exercise their right to clean safe water? The same people who enforce the right not to be stoned to death for not following the imaginary instructions of an imaginary friend?

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