Putting the human rights to water and sanitation into practice – at local level

This space supports the move from a rhetoric of human rights to the use of the human rights to water and sanitation in WASH sector practice – everywhere.

All countries in the world agree that every person is entitled to the human rights to water and sanitation. Most countries have made high-level commitments to ensure access to water and sanitation services for all people. Practically all countries in the world are struggling to achieve services for all.

Our aim is to show that using the human rights to water and sanitation in WASH sector practice can catalyse progress. You will find on this website:

In short: Everything you need to #MakeRightsReal!

Interactive online talk: Get ready for human rights work!

How have #civilsociety organisations changed so they can work with #HumanRights? Learn from colleagues in India and Kenya in our interactive online talk and share your own experiences or questions. ‘Get ready for human rights work’ will be live on 15 September.

The #MakeRightsReal campaign platform​

You are already using human rights in your work? You think more should be done? Take part in the #MakeRightsReal campaign to share your experiences and call for more action.

Podcasts and case study interviews on working with human rights in practice at local level

Everybody knows that water and sanitation are human rights. But how can civil society organisations use these rights in their practical work at local level?

Make Rights Real talk (#MRRtalk) explores different aspects of these questions with guests who share their experiences. We host online talks and present interviews to present practitioners’ perspectives on working with the human rights to water and sanitation. Talks feature a half-hour discussion, followed by a call-in part where listeners can share experiences and ask questions. The case study interviews are quick reads with in-depth experiences of aspects that we touched upon in the talks.

Explore the following topics:

NEW // “Episode 3 “Your questions answered”

For episode 3, we collected questions from you and spoke with Mohamad Mova Al’Afghani to answer them.

Episode 2 “Spotlight on strategies”

In this episode, we spoke with Partha Sarathi Kuntal and Alana Potter to explore different strategies civil society organisations use to push government institutions to realise water and sanitation services for all.

NEW // Case study interviews feature the use of monitoring tools in support of working with human rights; legal activism as strategy and the Claim Your Water Rights campaign.

Episode 1 “Get ready for human rights work”

Listen to Bikash Kumar Pati and Malesi Shivaji about practical steps civil society organisations have taken to work with human rights.

NEW // Case study interviews answer questions on how to get ready for human rights work and on how to support (local) government to address systemic challenges.

Explore the following topics:​

Episode 1 “Get ready for human rights work”

Listen to Bikash Kumar Pati and Malesi Shivaji about practical steps civil society organisations have taken to work with human rights.

NEW // Case study interviews answer questions on how to get ready for human rights work and on how to support (local) government to address systemic challenges.

Episode 2 “Spotlight on strategies”

In this episode, we spoke with Partha Sarathi Kuntal and Alana Potter to explore different strategies civil society organisations use to push government institutions to realise water and sanitation services for all.

NEW // Case study interviews feature the use of monitoring tools in support of working with human rights; legal activism as strategy and the Claim Your Water Rights campaign.

NEW // “Episode 3 “Your questions answered”

For episode 3, we collected questions from you and spoke with Mohamad Mova Al’Afghani to answer them.

Review Human Rights Day campaign

This Human Rights Day we combined our voices and made our message heard loud and clear: with only 10 years to achieve the SDGs, it’s high time to move from the recognition of water and sanitation as human rights to practical realisation on the ground.

Tools and approaches

You want to do more to integrate human rights into your work, but you are not quite sure how to go about it? Have a look at these tools and approaches on the human rights to water and sanitation for WASH sector practitioners.
Almost everyone working in the WASH sector knows that water and sanitation are human rights. Many people and organisations want to use human rights in their work, but are not quite sure how to go about it. Our compilation aims to help you find the tool or approach you need.

The human rights to water and sanitation

Where do the human rights to water and sanitation come from? Are they obligatory for my country? How are they defined?
This page answers the most common questions of WASH sector practitioners on the human rights to water and sanitation. It includes a brief introduction to the origins and meaning of the human rights to water and sanitation and a selection of resources for further reading.

About this website

This website is the result of a collaboration between WASH sector organisations. We share the interest of using the human rights to water and sanitation in practice to catalyse progress towards the realisation of services for all.