The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Practice

Findings and Lessons Learned from the Work on Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation under the Protocol on Water and Health in the Pan-European Region

image of The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Practice

This publication capitalizes on the findings and lessons learned so far from the work on equitable access to water and sanitation under the UNECE / WHO Regional Office for Europe Protocol on Water and Health. It features the experiences of eleven countries from the pan-European region that have established baseline measures of their situation with regard to equitable access to water and sanitation. This was achieved through multi-stakeholders’ self-assessment processes by looking at geographical disparities, specific barriers faced by vulnerable and marginalized groups, affordability concerns, as well as the governance framework.



Executive summary

Ensuring access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all is a legal obligation. The human right to safe drinking water entitles everyone, without discrimination, to have access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic use. The human right to sanitation entitles everyone in all spheres of life and in all settings, without discrimination, to have physical and affordable access to sanitation that is safe, hygienic, secure, socially and culturally acceptable, and provides privacy and ensures dignity.


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