Countdown to Human Rights Day
Get inspired by David Yambio – an activist working to improve the lives of refugees.
Having access to safe drinking water and sanitation is central to living a life in dignity and upholding human rights. Yet billions of people still do not enjoy these fundamental rights. The human rights to water and sanitation require that drinking water, water for domestic usage, sanitation and hygiene facilities are available, accessible, safe, acceptable and affordable for all without discrimination. This issue disproportionately impacts the most disadvantaged and marginalized members of society.
In 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 64/292 recognizing “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights”. Subsequently, the Human Rights Council, in September 2010, affirmed this recognition.
Since then, UN Human Rights continues to call on States and international organizations to provide financial resources, capacity-building assistance and technology to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.
UN Human Rights works with rights holders and duty bearers via our country presences, UN Country Teams to actively increase the amount and quality of work being done related to ESCR and SDGs, using various tools including a human rights approach to economic decision-making.
A year-long celebration, including events, publications and videos, took place in 2020, the tenth year since the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 64/292 explicitly recognizing the human rights to water and sanitation.
As part of celebrations of the 10-year anniversary of the human rights to water and sanitation, the Special Rapporteur released two stories and colouring books for children, illustrated by Kilsu Lee.
The Special Rapporteur is an independent expert who focuses on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The Special Rapporteur carries out thematic research, undertakes country missions, collects good practices, and works with development practitioners on the implementation of the rights to water and sanitation.
15 Sep 2023
Statements and speeches
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
14 Sep 2023
Human Rights Council
14 Sep 2023
26 July 2023
20 July 2023
11 July 2023
15 July 2022
04 February 2022