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!

United Nations resolutions on the human rights to water & sanitation

Use this map to see how many resolutions your country has supported at the UN – and more!
Countries recognise and define the human rights to water and sanitation in UN resolutions. This map shows all 15 resolutions on the rights adopted since 2010 – and which countries explicitly supported them.

#MRR talk: How to use human rights in daily practice

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): In our three #MRR talk formats, we give the floor to experts from practice and to you. 

Talks explore a dedicated topic in a half-hour discussion, followed by a call-in part where you can share experiences and ask questions. Talks are availabe as podcasts below. 

In the MRR talk: Open hour, a panel of renowend experts is there to engage with you on any questions or experiences you wish to share. 

Interviews are quick reads featuring in-depth experiences from around the world.

Upcoming MRR talk podcast

NEW // Episode 4: UN resolutions and what’s in it for you // 14 July
Since 2010, countries have adopted 15 resolutions on the human rights to water and sanitation. In this episode of MRR talk, we talk about how you can use resolutions in your work, we reveal which countries supported resolutions – and we also want to hear what is important to you in future resolutions.

Explore more MRR talk podcasts:

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.

PLUS // Quick read interviews 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.

PLUS // Quick read interviews on the use of monitoring tools in support of working with human rights; legal activism as strategy and the Claim Your Water Rights campaign.

Episode 3: “Your questions answered”

Do rights need to be in the Constitution or the law? What value do rights have when government really has no resources? Are international human rights compatible with local traditions and customs?

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

NEW // MRR talk: Open hour​

Voice your opinion. Ask your question. Listen in. In “MRR talk: Open hour”, a panel of renowned experts on working with rights is there to engage with you – and you can exchange with your peers too.

The next MRR talk: Open hour will be in August.

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.