Recent publications of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation :

Catarina de Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, published this summer two very important and useful documents: a report on “Common violations of the human rights to water and sanitation”  and a “Handbook for realizing the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation”.
Marion  Veber, IERPE, Belgium
Published: 3 years, 10 months ago (09/16/2014)
Updated: 3 years, 10 months ago (09/16/2014)

Catarina de Albuquerque, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, published this summer two very important and useful documents:

  • A report on “Common violations of the human rights to water and sanitation”
  • and a “Handbook for realizing the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation”.

Report on common violations of the human rights to water and sanitation

Report available here ,choose the number A/HRC/27/55.

In the report on Common violations of the human rights to water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque has identified common violations and established this typology:

  • Violations of the obligation to respect
  • Violations of the obligation to protect and abuses by non-State actors
  • Violations of the obligation to fulfil
  • Violations of the obligation to refrain from discrimination and to ensure substantive equality
  • Violations of the obligation to ensure active, free and meaningful participation
  • Violations of extraterritorial obligations

By this work, she wanted toassist States and others to identify and prevent violations, and to ensure access to effective remedies for existing violations.

RAMPEDRE wanted to underline two remarks made by the Special Rapporteur:

First, she notes thatViolations of the rights to water and sanitation are often connected with systemic patterns of exclusion and unequal power relationships.

Second, she underlines thatSituations where States have failed to adopt reasonable measures or to allocate appropriate resources are less familiar to many courts and raise additional challenges in determining whether a violation has occurred. Yet such types of violations often involve the greatest number of victims and the most intolerable deprivations.

The handbook for realizing the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation

The Handbook, published last week and available on http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/WaterAndSanitation/SRWater/Pages/Handbook.aspx, intends to:

  • To clarify the meaning of the human rights to water and sanitation;
  • To explain the obligations that arise from these rights;
  • To provide guidance on implementing the human rights to water and sanitation;
  • To share some examples of good practice and show how these rights are being implemented;
  • To explore how States can be held to account for delivering on their obligations;
  • To provide its users with checklists so they can assess how far they are complying with the human rights to water and sanitation.

The special rapporteur

As Special Rapporteur, Ms. de Albuquerque 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.

In total, since the beginning of the Special Rapporteur's mandate in 2008 (first as a "Expert"), 14 thematic reports appeared next to a number of state reports and other types of publications (books, frequently asked questions etc.). Those reports can be found on-line.

YearThematic Reports
2014Handbook for realizing the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation
Common violations of the human rights to water and sanitation
2013Wastewater management in the realization of the rights to water and sanitation
Sustainability and non-retrogression in the realisation of the rights to water and sanitation
2012Integrating non-discrimination and equality into post-2015 development agenda for water, sanitation and hygiene
Stigma and the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation
2011Financing for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation
National Plans of Action for the Realization of the Rights to Water and Sanitation
Good practices compilation
2010The MDGs and the right to water and sanitation
Human Rights Obligations Related to Non-State Service Provision in Water and Sanitation
Progress report on the compilation of Good Practices
2009Human Rights Obligations related to Access to Sanitation
Preliminary Report laying out the Mandate Workplan

For more information on the mandate of the Special Rapporteur, see: