Tag Archives: human rights

CLTS and the Right to Sanitation

 CLTS and the Right to SanitationFrontiers of CLTS issue 8, 2016. Authors: Issue8_Human_Rights_FINAL-17Musembi, C. and Musyoki, S.

The purpose of this issue of Frontiers of CLTS is to examine Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in light of human rights: Does CLTS contribute to realising the right to
sanitation and other inter-related rights? Are the principles and practices of CLTS ompatible with human rights?

What are the specific areas of compatibility? What areas raise concerns about actual or potential incompatibilities? With regard to areas of compatibility we discuss CLTS’
consistency with the principle of interdependence of rights, our interpretation of the nature of state duty in relation to CLTS, and CLTS’ recognition of the need to
balance individual and community rights and duties.

With regard to actual or potential incompatibilities with human rights, we discuss complex and controversial issues surrounding the use of shame and disgust, the range of sanctions employed by communities and governments, and subsidies, in light of the right to improved sanitation for all.

We demonstrate that while CLTS is compatible with a human rights based approach to sanitation, there is the potential risk of violation of human rights through bad practice in the name of CLTS. This risk is arguably multiplied with the scaling-up of CLTS, which highlights the need for a fuller understanding of human rights and more rigorous coaching of CLTS practitioners, as well as re-orientation of the attitudes of government public health officials and local leaders.

 

 

Manual on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Water and Sanitation Practitioners

Manual on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Water and Sanitation Practitioners, 2016. International Water Association (IWA).

The manual will be officially launched in October 2016 at the IWA World Water Congress in Brisbane and be available following that meeting.

The Manual on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Water and Sanitation Practitioners aims:

• to introduce the principles and concepts contained in the United Nations resolutions recognizing the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (HRWS)

• to clarify the language and terminology used in the promotion of human rights, and

• to provide guidance on the roles and responsibilities for everyone who contributes to the progressive realization of the HRWS, and on how the human rights principles and actions can be incorporated into their essential functions.

Continue reading

Gordon McGranahan-Realizing the Right to Sanitation in Deprived Urban Communities

Realizing the Right to Sanitation in Deprived Urban Communities: Meeting the Challenges of Collective Action, Coproduction, Affordability, and Housing Tenure.World Development, Vol. 68, Jan 2015 pp. 242–253, 2015.

Author: Gordon McGranahan, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK.

There are serious institutional challenges associated with low-cost sanitation in deprived urban communities. These include a collective action challenge, a coproduction challenge, a challenge of affordability versus acceptability, and a challenge related to housing tenure.

This paper examines these challenges, revealing both the importance of community-driven sanitation improvement and its difficulties. The nature of the challenges, and the means by which two successful community-driven initiatives have overcome them, suggest that while recognizing the human right to sanitation is important this should not be taken to imply that typical rights-based approaches are the appropriate means of realizing this right.

WASHplus Weekly: Focus on WASH & Human Rights

Issue 162 | Sept 19, 2014 | Focus on WASH & Human Rights

This issue highlights the just-published handbook on WASH and human rights by Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. Also included are studies from the UNC Water Institute; Human Rights Watch; fact sheets and position statements from the UN and UNICEF; country reports from the DRC, Haiti, and South Africa; and links to relevant websites.

Realising the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Handbook, 2014. C de Albuquerque. (Link)
This handbook is the product of six years of work by the first UN special rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation. It explains the meaning and legal obligations that arise from these rights, translating the often complex technical and legal language into accessible information. The target audiences for this handbook are governments at all levels, donors, and national regulatory bodies. It provides information that will also be useful to other local, regional, and international stakeholders, including civil society, service providers, and human rights organizations.

Fact Sheet on the Right to Water, n.d. United Nations. | Arabic | English | French |Spanish
The roots of the current water and sanitation crisis can be traced to poverty, inequality, and unequal power relationships, and it is exacerbated by social and environmental challenges: accelerating urbanization, climate change, and increasing pollution and depletion of water resources. To address this crisis, the international community has increasingly recognized that access to safe drinking water and sanitation must be considered within a human rights framework.

Translating the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into Public Policy Reform.Science and Engineering Ethics, Jan 2014. B Meier. (Link)
The development of a human right to water and sanitation under international law has created an imperative to implement human rights in water and sanitation policy. Through 43 interviews with informants in international institutions, national governments, and NGOs, this research examines interpretations of this new human right on global governance, national policy, and local practice.

Continue reading

WSP promoted CLTS approach in Indonesia criticised

A highly critical article in Development and Change argues that the Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach, which the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) has promoted in Indonesia, is not only “inadequate” but also “echoes coercive, race-based colonial public health practices”.

Susan Engel

Dr Susan Engel, University of Wollongong, Australis

Authors Dr Susan Engel and Anggun Susilo reveal striking similarities between developments in Indonesian sanitation in the 1920s and the 1990s. In both eras the focus changed from “the provision of hardware to […] participation and social mobilization” to encourage “individuals and communities to construct and maintain their own sanitation facilities”.

In the 1920s, the Rockefeller Foundation led the change, 70 years later it was WSP. In both cases the approaches are said to have met resistance because they were coercive and humiliating for the poorest, who also had to pay for latrines they couldn’t really afford.

Engel and Susilo found no evidence that the CLTS approach in Indonesia was sustainable. They conclude that government involvement, not just self-help CLTS approaches, is essential for successful sanitation.

Engel, S, and Susilo, A., 2014. Shaming and sanitation in Indonesia : a return to colonial public health practices?. Development and change, 45, 1, pp. 157-178. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12075

See also:

  • India, Madhya Pradesh: sanitation campaign humiliates women, say critics, Sanitation Updates, 24 Dec 2014
  • WASHplus Weekly: Community-Led Total Sanitation, Sanitation Updates, 13 Dec 2013
  • Topic: CLTS and human rights: Should the right to community-wide health be won at the cost of individual rights?, SuSanA Forum

 

Right to water and sanitation: new UN resolution supports sustainable service delivery approach

A new resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council at its 18th session calls on states to ensure enough financing for sustainable delivery of water and sanitation services. Passed by consensus on 28 September 2011, resolution A/HRC/RES/18/1 has taken last year’s landmark decision [1] to recognise the right to water and sanitation as legally binding in international law, a step further.

Catarina de Albuquerque. Photo: OHCHR

The new resolution is based on ongoing efforts by UN Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque to get states to go beyond Millennium Development Goals and strive for universal service provision.

States should maximise investments so that:

water and sanitation systems are sustainable and that services are affordable for everyone, while ensuring that allocated resources are not limited to infrastructure, but also include resources for regulatory activities, operation and maintenance, the institutional and managerial structure and structural measures, including increasing capacity

Continue reading

Medical waste, bad for your health and bad for your rights, warns UN expert

A new UN report says the international community has to date paid little attention to the growing problem of medical waste around the world, especially in developing countries. The report was released in September 2011 by the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxic waste Calin Georgescu.

“Some 20 to 25 per cent of the total waste generated by health-care establishments is regarded as hazardous and may create a variety of health and environmental risks if not managed and disposed of in an appropriate manner,” warns the independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council to report on the adverse effects of the movement and dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes on the enjoyment of human rights.

Hazardous health-care waste includes infectious waste, sharps, anatomical and pathological waste, obsolete or expired chemical products and pharmaceuticals, and radioactive materials. Medical waste is often mixed with general household waste, and either disposed of in municipal waste facilities or dumped illegally.

A significant amount of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is disposed of through hospital wastewater.

Continue reading