Women with Disabilities

Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation

UN photo / Logan Abassi


In September 2007, the High Commissioner for Human Rights presented a study ( http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/iexpert/docs/A-CHR-6-3_August07.pdf ) to the Human Rights Council on the scope and content of the relevant human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation under international human rights instruments. For further information on the process for preparing that study, please read at: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/index.htm.

In the study, the former High Commissioner expressed her belief โ€œthat it is now time to consider access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right, defined as the right to equal and non-discriminatory access to a sufficient amount of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses - drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation and personal and household hygiene - to sustain life and healthโ€.

She also lays out several issues requiring further study, and the Independent Expert has taken these as the starting point for her mandate. These issues include:


  1. the normative content of human rights obligations in relation to access to sanitation ( http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/iexpert/consultation.htm );
  2. the human rights obligations attached to the elaboration of a national strategy on water and sanitation;
  3. the regulation of the private sector in the context of private provision of safe drinking water and sanitation;
  4. criteria to protect the right to safe drinking water and sanitation in case of disconnection; and
  5. the specific obligations of local authorities.
The Independent Expert is guided in her work by the international human rights framework.
  1. General Comment 15 ( http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/docs/CESCR_GC_15.pdf )
  2. Sub-Commission's Guidelines for the Realization of the Right to Drinking Water and Sanitation adopted by the UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, August 2006 ( http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/docs/SUb_Com_Guisse_guidelines.pdf )

Other Useful Links

Source: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/water/iexpert/overview.htm

Email from: WUNRN

When: 7/2/2014

Last modified: Friday, 07 February 2014 06:02:58 Valid XHTML 1.1