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The human rights to water and sanitation of forcibly displaced persons in need of humanitarian assistance: report

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation


03 August 2018

presented to

At the 39th session of the HRC


Issued by Special Procedures


Water and sanitation

Symbol Number



The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Léo Heller, prepared this report pursuant to Council resolutions 27/7 and 33/10.

In the preparation of the report, the Special Rapporteur held a brainstorming roundtable on 12 September 2018 (discussion questions) and convened an expert consultation from 16 to 17 May 2018 (Concept Note).

The report specifically targets those who are unable, for reasons beyond their control, to realize their rights to water and sanitation by their own means and have to rely, as a result, on international and/or national humanitarian assistance - mainly internally displaced persons, refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in a vulnerable situation while en route, at borders and at reception.

For the purposes of the report, forcibly displaced persons are “those who are forced to move, within or across borders, due to armed conflict, persecution, terrorism, human rights violations and abuses, violence, the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, development projects or a combination of these factors”.