human rights to water and sanitation
Legal activism, research and advocacy to catalyse change: The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI)
The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) is a non-profit organisation and public interest law clinic that provides professional and dedicated socio-economic rights assistance to individuals, communities and social movements. We focus our research, advocacy and litigation in three thematic areas: securing a home, making a living and expanding political space.
The lack of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is not just an infrastructure issue, but the result of inequalities, lack of evidence-based planning and further marginalisation of the most vulnerable in policy documents. Capacity building and awareness raising amongst key stakeholders is the first step towards the realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation.
It’s the 70th anniversary of Human Rights Day- this day United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone document safeguarding the inalienable rights for all. At End Water Poverty, we believe that the right to safe water and sanitation services is at the heart of all fundamental human rights, given the basic requirements of these resources in the life of an individual.
Photo: Muhammad Sabah / B’Tselem
Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza has lasted over half a century, and the dire humanitarian situation is at breaking point. On the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, it is crucial to highlight the denial of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) to the Palestinian people, not only as a human-made political crisis, but also, as a human rights issue.
On Human Rights Day, End Water Poverty along with three organisations (Help Refugees, the Inter Regional Support Programme of Pakistan and Slum Dwellers International) have come together in this joint blog to raise awareness of the human rights to water and sanitation; especially for vulnerable and marginalised groups.
After what has been a prolonged period of absence for some members of the “friends list” to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, I would like to touch base with you and renew my commitment to maintaining meaningful contact. As much time has passed, there is naturally a lot that could be shared. I will attempt to be selective and keep to key subjects that could be of your particular interest.
1. Recognition of human rights to water and sanitation
Léo Heller, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, has just released his first reports on key issues affecting the WASH sector and influencing people’s abilities to realise their human rights to water and sanitation.