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News SIWI welcomed UN decision on Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

Stockholm (2010-10-08) – Following the recognition of the human right to drinking water and sanitation several months ago, the UN Human Rights Council clarified at a recent session that the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the already existing right to adequate standard of living.
Member states reached consensus on this decision, which establishes the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation as legally binding in international law.
Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) welcomes this historic decision. Mr. Anders Berntell, Executive Director of SIWI described the decision as “an important step in the work to secure access to drinking water and sanitation for all.” He added that SIWI has actively supported global advocacy efforts to recognise this human right.
The new resolution reaffirms the primary responsibility by states to ensure the full realisation of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. It stipulates that states must ensure transparency, non-discrimination and accountability in the provision of drinking water and sanitation services, whether provided by state or non-state actors (such as private companies, entrepreneurs, NGOs, community-based organisations and state-owned companies).
Welcoming this new resolution, Mr. Berntell said “it is urgent that all actors collaborate and speed up their efforts to implement the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. This is a responsibility for governments as well as local authorities, but also for the international community including international financial institutions and donors.”
Currently there are more than2.6 billion people who do not have access to basic sanitation and 1.5 million children under 5 die every year due to water and sanitation-related diseases.
Find the resolution at:
Read the Swedish Water House/SIWI policy brief at:
OHCHR Media Statement:
About Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

SIWI is a policy institute that contributes to international efforts to combat the world's escalating water crisis. SIWI develops and promotes future-oriented and knowledge–integrated policies, towards sustainable use of the world’s water resources leading to sustainable development and poverty eradication.

Contact information Ms. Ann-Mari Karlsson, SIWI (email:
Phone: +46 (0)8 522 139 79
News type Inbrief
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Keyword(s) right to water, Human Right to Water
Geographical coverage Sweden,
News date 11/10/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH