Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation
Catarina de Albuquerque is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation (formerly Independent Expert). She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in September 2008, having started her mandate on 1 November that year. Between 2004 and 2008 she presided over the negotiations of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the UN General Assembly approved by consensus on 10 December 2008.
De Albuquerque is an invited Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga and Coimbra and a Senior Legal Adviser at the Office for Documentation and Comparative Law, an independent institution under the Prosecutor General’s Office.
She was awarded the Human Rights Golden Medal by the Portuguese Parliament (10 December 2009) for outstanding work in the area of human rights. Her work in human rights was also honoured by the Portuguese President of the Republic (October 2009) with the Order of Merit, which is a recognition of an individual's personal bravery, achievement, or service.
She holds a Law Degree from the Law Faculty of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) and a DES from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales (Geneva, Switzerland).