dcsimg
English Site French Site Spanish Site Russian Site Arabic Site Chinese Site OHCHR header
Make a donation to OHCHR


The human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living and inextricably related to the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as the right to life and human dignity" – Human Rights Council


The Right to Water and Sanitation Toolkit


Key aspects

The water supply for each person must be sufficient and continuous to cover personal and domestic uses, which comprise water for drinking, washing clothes, food preparation and personal and household hygiene.

Water for personal and domestic uses must be safe and acceptable. It must be free from elements that constitute a threat to a person’s health. Water must also be of an acceptable colour, odour and taste to ensure that individuals will not resort to polluted alternatives that may look more attractive.

Water and sanitation facilities must be physically accessible and within safe reach for all sections of the population, taking into account the needs of particular groups, including persons with disabilities, women, children and the elderly.

Water services must be affordable to all. No individual or group should be denied access to safe drinking water because they cannot afford to pay.

Fact Sheet 35 - The Right to Water 

Fact Sheet No. 35
Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions on the rights to water and sanitation Frequently Asked Questions on the rights to water and sanitation
English | French | Spanish
 Book "On the Right Track" "On the Right Track": Good practices in realising the rights to water and sanitation
English | French | Spanish
 "Legal Obligations with Tangible Benefits on the rights to water and sanitation Legal Obligations with Tangible Benefits on the rights to water and sanitation
English | French | Spanish


Reports, Guidance and Tools



Handbook

Handbook on the realization of the rights to water and sanitation

Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: General Comment n°15:
Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Special Rapporteur thematic reports:

Access to Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Non-State Service Provision in Water and Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian |Spanish

National Plans of Action for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Financing for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation: Arabic | Chinese | English | French | Russian | Spanish

Climate change

Sanitation facilities and toilets polluting the coastal areas under the houses in Hanubada Village, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea © Bahram GhaziOHCHR:

Study on human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation

UN publications:

UNDP, Human Development Report 2006, Beyond scarcity: Power, poverty and the global water crisis
UN-HABITAT, SDC, AAAS and COHRE, Manual on the right to water and sanitation

UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights:

Guidelines for the Realization of the Right to Drinking Water and Sanitation, August 2006.