The principle of accountability in the context of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation: report

Published
16 July 2018
Author:
The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation
Presented:
At the 73rd session of the GA
Link:

A/73/162

Friendly version of the Special Rapporteur's report on accountability (English | Français | Español)

Accountability in infographics


Background

Pursuant to the UN Human Rights Council resolutions 27/7 of 2014 and 33/10 of 2016, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr. Léo Heller presented his thematic report to the seventy-third session of the General Assembly in 2018 on the principle of accountability in the context of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Summary

In this report, the Special Rapporteur focuses on the relationship of State and non-State actors involved in policy-making, provision and regulation of water and sanitation services to the people affected by their actions and decisions.

Accountability implies that:

  • actors involved in provision and regulation of water and sanitation services must have clearly defined duties and responsibilities and performance standards (“responsibility”);
  • actors must be answerable to affected people and groups for their actions and decisions, which includes access to information in a transparent manner (“answerability”);
  • mechanisms should be in place that monitors actors’ compliance with established standards, imposes sanctions and ensures that corrective and remedial action are taken (“enforceability”).

Inputs received

The Special Rapporteur requested information on the mechanisms that enable individuals and groups to hold actors accountable for ensuring the rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. He requested information on good examples, as well as the main challenges encountered in establishing, using and implementing such mechanisms. These accountability mechanisms include processes of participation, monitoring, oversight, information, as well as judicial, quasi-judicial, administrative, and political mechanisms.

Questionnaire to States: English | Français | Español
Questionnaire to non-State actors: English | Français | Español

Notes:

1. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “Who will be accountable? Human Rights and the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (2013), p. 10.

2. Non-State actors may include, but are not limited to: businesses, private actors, development organisations, non-governmental organisations, among others.

States:

NGOs and Civil Society Organizations:


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Contact information

Mr. Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, Special Rapporteur on Water and Sanitation

OHCHR-UNOG
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneve 10, Switzerland

 

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