The Right to Sanitation

The UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to water and sanitation, Léo Heller, and the Chair of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Waleed Sadi, issued a joint statement praising the UN General Assembly resolution, adopted by consensus on 17 December, recognizing that ‘the human right to sanitation entitles everyone, without discrimination, to have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, socially and culturally acceptable and that provides privacy and ensures dignity.’

“This is a significant step taken by all United Nations Member States to address the right to sanitation on an equal footing with the right to water,” Special Rapporteur Heller said.

“The Committee welcomes the full recognition of the right to sanitation by States, and highlights the importance of complying with principles related to non-discrimination, gender equality, participation and accountability in this regard,” Mr. Sadi stated.

“We urge all Member States, in both their national budgeting and international development cooperation, to target the allocation of resources to sanitation in particular to the most marginalized and disadvantaged groups and individuals, as those living in urban informal settlements and in rural areas,” the experts said.

John Knox

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