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UNESCO Etxea organizes a fringe event at the human rights council together with the Independent expert on the human right to water and sanitation

Within the framework of the 12th session of the Human Rights Council, on 16th September there was a fringe event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on sanitation as a human rights issue, organised by UNESCO Etxea and the United Nations Independent Expert on the issue of the human rights obligations relating to access to drinking water and sanitation.

The fringe event SH*T: A Matter of Human Rights and Human Dignity counted with the participation of the Independent Expert Catarina de Albuquerque who gave her assessment following the first report of her mandate presented to the Human Rights Council. She reminded us that 2,500 million people lack access to proper sanitation in the world and the serious problems that this causes. She also emphasised the lack of understanding about sanitation from the human right perspective and stressed that one of the biggest obstacles is the taboo surrounding the issue. The Report shows sanitations impact on various human rights and the Expert proposes its greater recognition as a separate right.

Catarina de Albuquerque also presented the leaflet FAQ on Water, Sanitation and Human Rights which seeks to clear up the most common misinterpretations.

The founder of the World Toilet Organisation, Jack Sim, also took part at the event who considers that the water issue has overshadowed the problem of sanitation, and it is now high time to grant this issue its own place on the agenda. He also stressed the need to motivate the population to demand sanitation in a creative and fun way.

Thorsten Kiefer, from Bread for the World presented the legal basis of the right to sanitation and emphasised that all attention must be focused on the implementation and not on the debate on its legal recognition which is slightly artificial.

Documents:

The summary of the parallel event can be found at:

English

Spanish

Statement by UNESCO Etxea and Human Right Advocates

Resolution

Thanks to the support from:

BASQUE GOVERNMENT. Ministry for Justice and Public Administration

Department for Human Rights

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With the support of
Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia / Diputación Foral de Bizkaia

Eusko Jaurlaritza / Gobierno Vasco