Handbook for realizing the rights to water and sanitation
29 January to 10 March 2014
Dear World We Want 2015 - Water Consultation Members,
You are invited to join an e-Discussion on the Handbook for realizing the rights to water and sanitation. The e-Discussion will run from 29 January to 10 March 2014, organized by the UN Human Rights Policy network – HuriTALK hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Since 2010, when the UN General Assembly recognized the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and the Human Rights Council reaffirmed this recognition, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation has received repeated requests from State authorities (national and local), service providers, regulators and others, to provide guidance on what realization of this right implies for their work and activities. This handbook for implementing the human rights to water and sanitation is a response to those – and possible future - requests.
The Special Rapporteur is pursuing a collaborative approach to the development of this handbook, firstly in the identification of the key barriers, challenges and opportunities that stakeholders encounter in realizing the rights to water and sanitation, and then further in the testing and verification of the checklists and recommendations to be featured in the handbook. This collaborative approach will ensure that the Handbook is relevant and helpful to practitioners working in the field and beyond the mandate of the current Special Rapporteur.
The e-Discussion is an important opportunity to share experiences, good practices and lessons learned on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in ensuring access to water and sanitation services especially to those groups that are excluded for a range of reasons. Consideration of non-discrimination and the elimination of inequalities are crucial in each of the five areas of implementation mentioned above (namely legal, policy and regulatory frameworks, financing, service delivery, awareness-raising and accountability and monitoring) that we have defined as the most significant actions to realise the rights to water and sanitation.
Through this E-discussion and the interaction with UN practitioners from different agencies and country teams, scholars, representatives of governments, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations, WASH sector professionals as well as independent experts, participants can ensure that a broad diversity of contexts, experiences and perspectives support the sections of the Handbook that focus on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in access to water and sanitation services.
Weeks 1 and 2 (29 January – 10 February 2014) will reflect on general experiences in supporting access to water and sanitation including some of the main challenges of discrimination in service delivery in realizing the rights to water and sanitation. Lessons learned and good practices in addressing discrimination, inequalities and exclusion in accessing water and sanitation services in development programmes, particularly for marginalized individuals and groups, will also be reflected upon.
Weeks 3 and 4 (10 – 24 February 2014) will focus on how principles of non-discrimination and equality can be incorporated into legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks and financing for water and sanitation. There will also be a focus on the main challenges to include non-discrimination in an effective and successful way as well as to ensure substantive equality.
Weeks 5 and 6 (24 February – 10 March 2014) will focus on accountability and monitoring and discuss whether the rights to water and sanitation can increase the accountability of States towards individuals and groups that are discriminated against and whether accountability and monitoring systems have improved access to services for marginalized groups or individuals. Awareness-raising and advocacy strategies that promote non-discriminatory practices effectively in ensuring that marginalized and / or vulnerable individuals and groups receive relevant messages and information will also be discussed.
We hope you will join us for the e-discussion and encourage you to forward this invitation to colleagues who may be interested in participating.
Contributions to the e-Discussion will be disseminated on the UN Human Rights Policy network - HuriTALK and other participating knowledge networks. If you wish to subscribe to participate in the discussion kindly send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. It will also be possible to contribute to the discussion on the online UN platform ‘Teamworks’ where you can post comments and access relevant resources related to the e-Discussion. Kindly go to http://www.unteamworks.org/HandbookWatSan to participate in the discussion online.
Catarina de Albuquerque
UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation
Democratic Governance Group
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)