Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Continuing to challenge the UK position on the right to sanitation - churches get out in front

Over the last year or so, in advocacy on the rights to water and sanitation which resulted in the recognition of the rights to water and (importantly) sanitation in the United Nations Human Rights Council, I had the distinct pleasure of working with a small but committed group of allies who prioritised the right to sanitation. 


Among them is the World Council of Churches (WCC), through their Ecumenical Water Network. I mention this now because of a recent statment by the WCC, which among other things continues to challenge the UK position. The UK does not recognize the right to sanitation as I describe in more detail in a previous blog: The Great Stink: The Thames River and the Right to Sanitation


From the WCC statement: 

'The right to water and sanitation is now almost universally recognized as a legally binding right. A very limited number of governments have not yet publicly affirmed the rights to water and sanitation. Even fewer remain that continue to explicitly reject either the right to water or the right to sanitation. Included among the most prominent are the United Kingdom and Canada.' 


Maike Gorsboth, a passionate activist on sanitation who coordinates the Ecumenical Water Network notes that, "The acknowledgement of water and sanitation as human rights is a part of building just peace." 




The right to sanitation does not exist because the United Nations said so, it is exists because without it, people die. The World Council of Churches does not tolerate this injustice, nor should the UK and Canada. That they do, that anyone does, shames us all. 

Related news: British challenged on right to sanitation by global church group

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