UN 2023 Water Conference side event, Hearing the Unheard, to amplify marginalised voices

by | Feb 22, 2023 | News

Share this post:

On 23 March 2023, End Water Poverty, Water Integrity Network and our partners are hosting an official side event to the UN 2023 Water Conference, called Hearing the Unheard: Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, which aims to amplify the the voices of marginalised, grassroots groups in relation to water and sanitation.

The side event and its digital campaign, #HearingTheUnheardHRWS, will share video and live testimony of the experiences, agency and demands in of marginalised groups from across the globe, and include responses from the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR)’s Rio Hada, the Director-General of the South African Department of Water and Sanitation Sean Phillips and a local government representative from Latin-America.

The Hearing the Unheard side event follows on from a “listening exercise” held at Stockholm Water Week in August 2022, which facilitated a dialogue between the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to water and sanitation, the OHCHR and marginalised groups from four countries who spoke to three questions:

  1. How does a lack of safe, adequate, affordable, acceptable, available water and sanitation affect your community?
  2. What actions have you taken to address this and what responses have your received from government?
  3. What support and action do you want to see from the UN and the international community?

The side event, which is endorsed by South Africa and Liberia, will foreground representatives from marginalised groups who do not have the ECOSCO status, special accreditation, or the opportunity to participate in the UN Water Conference in person in New York. Through a combination of two live testimonies from grassroots representatives and a collection of video material from a wide array of groups, including informal settlement dwellers, pastoralist farmers, indigenous groups, rural communities, young people, sanitation workers, informal workers and LGBTQI+ groups, the event will amplify marginalised voices.

The event will be a hybrid event, taking place in person at the Church Centre, 777 UN Plaza, New York (corner of 1st Avenue and 44th Street) and online over Zoom.

  • For more on the event, read the concept note here.

Register to attend the event