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!

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. Together, we can show the potential of human rights for realising services for all and demand more action.

Start this 30 September to show how you #MakeRightsReal!

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised, the #MakeRightsReal campaign has three aims:

Joining the #MakeRightsReal campaign is simple! We have prepared a set of materials so you can take part starting this 30 September. Click the button below to learn more and to download the Campaign Guide, the campaign logo and “ready-to-use” images. That is all you need to create your story for social media and show the potential of human rights for realising water and sanitation services for all!

Take part - starting this 30 September!

Just write a story about your experience working with human rights, add an image and post on social media with the hashtag #MakeRightsReal.

Use the quick links below to take part:

How to take part: Campaign Guide

This short Campaign Guide explains the three simple steps to taking part. It includes inspiration for writing stories and creating images.​

Ready to use campaign images

You don't have a picture to share with your social media post? Just use one of the ready to use campaign images. You can include your logo too! ​

Use the campaign logo

You want to use a picture of your work with your social media post? Great! You can add the campaign logo and your own logo to the picture.​

Questions? Ask us!

You are not sure about something? Simply send us an email and we will do our best to help you!

Why a campaign?

Many WASH sector practitioners already use human rights in their work: Understanding inequalities in the enjoyment of services enables targeted planning to reach equality. With access to information for and participation by service users, their needs can be understood and met. If accountability is part of the service system, it will become more sustainable. All these are human rights principles and integrating them into practice yields results – and makes rights real!

10 years after the human rights to water and sanitation were first recognised, it’s high time to focus on the potential of these rights to catalyse progress towards services for all – and to ensure more attention, recognition and support for this vital work!

The #MakeRightsReal campaign aims to achieve this by showcasing experiences and demanding more action. Because it’s time to #MakeRightsReal!

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.
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. And guidance can be hard to find.

This selection of tools and approaches aims to help you to integrate these rights into your work:

Making Rights Real​

Made for: WASH sector practitioners who work with local government institutions
Made by: The Making Rights Real consortium – see below “About this website”

Equality, non-discrimination and inclusion toolkit​

Made for: Programme and advocacy staff
Made by: WaterAid

#ClaimYourWaterRights​

Made for: Civil society organisations and communities
Made by: End Water Poverty

Accessibility and safety audits​

Made for:Practitioners in local government institutions and programme staff

Made by: WaterAid, WEDC

Realizing the human rights to water and sanitation: A Handbook​

Made for: Government institutions, service providers and regulators

Made by: Catarina de Albuquerque, then UN Special Rapporteur

Manual on the human rights to water and sanitation for practitioners​

Made for: Operators, managers and regulators

Made by: IWA

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

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.

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.

Our focus is on the collaborative engagement of governmental institutions at the local level.

We share the conviction that this niche is crucial to achieve the change needed to realise services for all – and that it is too often overlooked.

The Making Rights Real approach, available on this site here, was jointly developed by this group. The decision to develop the #MakeRightsReal campaign platform is based on the learnings from this work.

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