Progressive realization of the human rights to water and sanitation

Background

In the context of the human rights to water and sanitation, the obligation of progressive realization reflects the need of States to move beyond the minimum levels of water and sanitation service provision, specified as necessary immediately in accordance with States' minimum core obligations. In realizing the rights to water and sanitation, States are also required to utilize the maximum of their available resources.

In this regard, several questions arise:

  • How can the concepts of 'progressive realization', 'maximum available resources' and 'minimum core obligations' be translated in the context of the human rights to water and sanitation?
  • What elements and specificities of the human rights to water and sanitation should be considered in the application of the three concepts?
  • To which extent do human rights monitoring bodies have been assessing the implementation of States' obligations adequately applying the three concepts mentioned above? How can those bodies further address those concepts?
  • How can compliance with the obligation of progressive realization be assessed? How to translate the standard of reasonableness (and related standards such as adequacy, appropriateness, and proportionality) in the water and sanitation sector?

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, Léo Heller, will explore these questions in his report to the 45th session of the Human Rights Council in September 2020 on the progressive realization of the human rights to water and sanitation.

Consultation process

  • 22 October 2019: public consultation in New York

Together with Franciscans International, the Special Rapporteur is organizing a public consultation.

Date and time: 22 October 2019, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.,
Venue: Baha'i International Community, 866 United Nations Plaza #120,
Registration

See flyer.

  • November 2019: online bilateral consultation

The Special Rapporteur and his team are organizing online bilateral consultations via Skype on 1 November, 8 November and 15 November 2019.

Sign-up for the online bilateral consultation is now available.
See background paper guiding questions for further information.

  • December 2019: questionnaire to State and other stakeholders

In line with previous practice, the Special Rapporteur will seek input from States and non-State actors by distributing a questionnaire. The questionnaire will be available in December with the deadline of 28 February 2020.