UNDP to launch handbook on the rights to water

The Democratic Governance Group and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will from Wednesday 29 January to 10 March 2014 launch an e-Discussion Handbook on the rights to water and sanitation.

A statement co-signed by Madam Catarina de Albuquerque, UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and Mr Patrick Keuleers, Director, Democratic Governance Group, UNDP, made available to the Ghana News Agency on Tuesday said the e-Discussion would be hosted by the UN Human Rights Policy network, HuriTALK and cross-posted on the UNDP Democratic Governance Practice network (DGP-net).

“The Poverty-Reduction network (PR-net), the Gender network (Gender-net), the HIV, Health and Development network (HHD-net), the Crisis Prevention and Recovery Practice network (CPRP-net), the Energy and Environment network (EE-net), the UNDG Millennium Development Goals network (MDG-net) and the UN Coordination Practice network (CPN-net) would be among the host,” it said.

The statement said the e-Discussion would be an important opportunity to share experiences, good practices and lessons learned on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in access to water and sanitation services, especially to those groups that were excluded for a range of reasons.

“Consideration of non-discrimination and the elimination of inequalities are crucial in each of these five areas of implementation namely: legal, policy and regulatory frameworks, financing, service delivery, awareness-raising and accountability and monitoring that we have defined as the most significant actions to realise the rights to water and sanitation,” it said.

The statement said since 2010, when the UN General Assembly recognised the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, the Human Rights Council re-affirmed this recognition to provide guidance through the handbook; to implement human rights to water and sanitation as a response to those and possible future requests.

It noted that through the e-Discussion and the interaction with UN practitioners from different agencies and country teams, scholars, representatives of governments, national human rights institutions, and civil society organizations, water and sanitation (WASH) sector professionals as well as independent experts and participants could ensure that a broad diversity of contexts, experiences and perspectives would focus on ensuring non-discrimination and equality in access to water and sanitation services.

According to the statement, the Special Rapporteur was pursuing a collaborative approach to the development of the handbook, firstly in identifying key barriers, challenges and opportunities that stakeholders encounter in realizing the rights to water and sanitation.

“And then further in the testing and verification of the checklists and recommendations to be featured in the handbook. This collaborative approach will ensure that the Handbook is relevant and helpful to practitioners working in the field and beyond the mandate of the current Special Rapporteur,” it added. GNA

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