Clean water and sanitation – recently recognised by the United Nations as basic human rights – are critical to good health. They help prevent disease. Yet billions of people have no ready access to safe water. It is an essential service that governments must provide to protect their citizens and serve their common good.
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For more than 1,000 children every day, water is death. Waterborne diseases kill. It is estimated that half of all hospital beds are occupied by people suffering from waterborne diseases. These are preventable deaths.
Check out our General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli discussing our work alongside our affiliates on the Human Right to Water and why it is so important at a special seminar held at the Vatican by Pope Francis. Trade Unions, NGOs, UN Human Rights experts and the Pope all agree: Water is a human right and needs to be governed publicly, in the public interest. Not by profit-maximizing private corporations.
Last November, the National Assembly of Slovenia passed an amendment to its Constitution to include a new article that recognizes the Human Right to Water. The amendment affirms water should be treated as a public good managed by the state, not as a commodity, and that drinking water must be supplied by the public sector on a not-for-profit basis.
The Our Water Our Right coalition, fighting privatisation of water in Lagos (Nigeria), stepped up the pressure by releasing a report called "Lagos water crisis: Alternative roadmap for water sector". This new publication critiques the history of poor public administration, picks apart the deficiencies of decades of World Bank driven privatisation policies, and presents the way forward for the city administration to implement human rights obligations by ensuring universal access to water for all Lagosians.