- Clarify what respecting the human right to water means for companies, regulators, and others
Since 2010, when the United Nation General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and the Human Rights Council reaffirmed this recognition, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation has received repeated requests to provide guidance from States (both national and local), service providers, regulators and others, to clarify what this human right would imply for their work and activities. In fact this recognition has given an increased visibility to the water, sanitation and hygiene sector and many sector professionals see human rights as an opportunity to raise political support for these essential services.
The Special Rapporteur has been working closely with several organizations interested in understanding what the human rights to water and sanitation mean for their work, and how to translate these rights into practice.
The Special Rapporteur pursued 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 human rights to water and sanitation, and then further in the testing and verification of the checklists and recommendations featured in the handbook. This collaborative approach will ensure that the Handbook is relevant and helpful beyond the mandate of the current Special Rapporteur.