Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Urgent: Contact your government about the importance of the Right to Sanitation

A draft resolution on the human right to water and sanitation proposed by Bolivia is currently being discussed in the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

This is great news!

However, throughout the negotiations there has been talk of removing sanitation and focusing only on water. This would mean that the United Nations deliberately decided not to acknowledge sanitation as a human right. We can not let this happen.

Take Action: If you have any contacts with your government or any in your region (particularly the foreign ministry and/or water and sanitation ministers) please call them today or first thing in the morning as the next informal discussions are tomorrow (7 July) and ask them to contact the relevant U.N. officials to ensure that sanitation is not removed from this draft resolution.

The text of the resolution will by finalized by mid-July. If you are reading this after 7 July – IT IS NOT TOO LATE. These process are sometimes delayed particularly if many people are weighing in.

Please still reach out to your contacts. If the officials you speak with are not informed on the sanitation crisis, you can share the following facts and your first-hand experience with them.

  • A systematic analysis of child mortality recently published the in lancet medical journal found that Diarrhoea, caused by poor or non-existent sanitation is now the biggest killer of children under five in Africa.
  • The numbers of people without access to sanitation are rising. The WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Report notes that by 2015, 2.7 billion people will not have access to sanitation.
  • It is impossible to realise the recognized right to an adequate standard of living (as recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights article 25.1 ) without access to sanitation.
  • The Millennium Development Goal on sanitation is way off track and without significant change will not be achieved until 23rd century.

Changing the above situation will require increased political will at the highest levels – this will be greatly undermined if sanitation is not included in this resolution.

Please call your government officials today and if you have another moment, let us know that you called them and how it went.

If you have any questions feel free to contact:

Kolleen Bouchane Advocacy Action and Learning Officer Freshwater Action Network T +44 (0) 20 7793 2230 skype: kolleenbouchane

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