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Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation
Submissions now online (See below)
The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, wishes to thank States, indigenous peoples, civil society organisations, academic institutions, businesses, international organisations, individuals and other stakeholders for the continued engagement with this mandate. He launches the process of gathering inputs from States and other stakeholders to inform his thematic report on “Fulfilling the human rights of those living in poverty and restoring the health of aquatic ecosystems: two converging challenges”. The report will be presented at the 54th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, in September 2023.
The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation understands aquatic ecosystems as the rivers, lakes, springs, creeks and wetlands on which many right holders depend to fulfil their human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation.
The Special Rapporteur argues that it is simplistic to state that freshwater scarcity is the reason for the global water crisis that it is leaving 2 billion people with no access to safe drinking water. In his view, water is not scarce per se. On the contrary, the current water crisis is the consequence of a paradigm that considers water an economic resource subject to exploitation for profit. The Special Rapporteur states in his planning and vision for his mandate (A/HRC/48/50), that the health of aquatic ecosystems, which are the direct source of water for millions and particularly for marginalized groups have been affected by the consequences of extractive industries, agriculture, urbanization, hydraulic megaprojects and the intensive exploitation of rivers, aquifers and groundwater.
In this regard, the Special Rapporteur considers that an integrated approach to water's various uses and functions, from a human rights perspective, could improve the human rights to water and sanitation of millions. Based on this view, the Special Rapporteur's 2023 thematic report to the Human Rights Council entitled "Fulfilling the human rights of those living in poverty and restoring the health of aquatic ecosystems: two converging challenges" will focus first on determining the link between the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation and the sustainability and health of aquatic ecosystems and second on suggesting strategies to restore the health of aquatic ecosystems from a human rights perspective.
In this connection, the Special Rapporteur would like to call member states, non-state actors, civil society, academia, indigenous peoples, individuals, and other relevant stakeholders to send their contributions and experiences in connection to aquatic ecosystems, poverty and the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. The Special Rapporteur would appreciate receiving inputs on the interlinkages between human rights obligations and the health of aquatic ecosystems, and the good and bad experiences on sustainable (or unsustainable) management of aquatic ecosystems, including court’s rulings at global, regional, national and local levels.
To facilitate the reception of inputs, the Special Rapporteur prepared a list of key information which he considers essential for the report. The list could be answered entirely or partially according to the expertise and experience of those actors willing to contribute to the Report. Please find the list of topics on the following link.
Your contribution should be sent by no later than 20 March 2023.
Please send your contributions in English, French or Spanish in Word or PDF format to Please indicate “” in the email subject line; limit your contributions to a maximum of 2,500 words and if necessary, provide links to relevant documents or attach annexes.
All submissions will be published on the website of the mandate. Non-state actors could request the confidentiality of the submission.
NGOs and Civil Society Organizations