Mercy Global Concern

Special Rapporteur calls for a Human Rights Framework for Water and Sanitation in the SDGs

Reports: September 24, 2017

UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr Leo Heller, mandated the implementation and necessity of a human rights monitoring framework in a statement at a meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Mr Heller was asked to address the two organization's Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) for their recent publication titled "Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG baselines".
He conveyed his deep disappointment that in this latest report on water, sanitation and hygiene, no human rights language was incorporated. Sustainable Development Goal targets relating to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) must be guided by a human rights framework which is currently lacking in language and the agenda. As this was the first report on WASH and the SDGs, he expressed his hope that future editions will support and incorporate a human rights framework within their reporting and monitoring process.

Within his statement, Mr  Heller details that "the human rights to water and sanitation are one set among few rights mentioned in 'Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development'" and "the adoption of the SDGs on WASH was a great achievement for those committed to the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation". However, he "personally advocated for the Agenda to be aligned with the normative content of the human rights to water and sanitation and the principles of the human rights". While he wants to continue to coordinate and work with these influential organizations, Mr Heller wants to ensure that they work collaboratively to "reach our common aim of providing universal, affordable, and safe access to water and sanitation to all". It is in the hopes that, in addition to the SDG's of water and sanitation, that all SDG's will be guided by similar human rights mechanisms.

MIA -MGA at the UN advocated strongly for the human right to water to be named during the intergovernmental negotiations for the 2030 Agenda.

Read  Leo Heller’s Statement made at the WHO/UNICEF Meeting here (PDF)

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA-MGA Coordinator at the UN

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