Sanitation consultation, 29 April 2009
In March 2008, through its resolution 7/22, the Human Rights Council created the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. According to the resolution, the Independent Expert is called upon to carry out the following activities:
(a) Firstly, to develop a dialogue with Governments, the relevant United Nations bodies, the private sector, local authorities, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and academic institutions, to identify, promote and exchange views on best practices related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and, in that regard, to prepare a compendium of best practices;
(b) Secondly, to advance the work by undertaking a study, in cooperation with and reflecting the views of Governments and relevant United Nations bodies, and in further cooperation with the private sector, local authorities, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and academic institutions, on the further clarification of the content of human rights obligations, including non-discrimination obligations, in relation to access to safe drinking water and sanitation;
(c) Thirdly, on making recommendations that could help the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular of Goal 7.
At its ninth session in September 2008, the Council appointed Catarina de Albuquerque as independent expert, for a period of three years. Ms. de Albuquerque took up her mandate on 1 November 2008.
In considering activity (b) under her mandate, the Independent Expert decided to firstly focus on the human rights obligations related to sanitation. In her first report to the Human Rights Council in March 2009, she noted that “[a]lthough lack of access to sanitation is at the origin of the non-realization of basic human rights, the area of sanitation has not been adequately analysed from a human rights perspective.”
(i) Achievements and challenges regarding sanitation - Jon Lane, Executive Director, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
(ii) Sanitation in international human rights law and practice - Catarina de Albuquerque, Independent Expert
(iii) Human rights conceptual framework and sanitation - Virginia Bras Gomes, Member, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
The meeting will take place in Room XXIV of Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
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There will be simultaneous interpretation of the meeting into English, French and Spanish.
Advanced written contributions on the human rights obligations related to sanitation are welcome so that these perspectives may inform the discussions. These documents will be posted on the website of the Independent Expert in advance of the meeting (http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/iexpert/index.htm).
For further information or clarification please contact the address below:
Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.
Special Procedures Division
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Telephone: +41 22 917 96 79
Fax: +41 22 917 90 06