Public Values

Human Right to Water and Sanitation yet to be implemented

Canadian government in violation of international recognition.

Barlow: Shame on us for not having done it sooner.OTTAWA, ON, July 27, 2012: July 28th marked the two-year anniversary of the historic United Nations General Assembly resolution recognizing the Human Right to Water and Sanitation. This human right has yet to be fully implemented, however, prompting water justice activists from around the world to release an open letter demanding action from governments.

"As members of the global water justice movement, we are deeply concerned to see little progress being made towards the full implementation of this right as governments aggressively pursue false solutions to the environmental and economic crises that will only deepen the water injustices that our organizations and communities have been fighting for decades," reads the letter, signed by fifteen prominent organizations.

The organizations also produced a series of reports examining key obstacles to the implementation of the human right to water in Argentina, Ecuador, Canada, Colombia, Europe, Indonesia, India, Palestine and the United States.

  "One of the wealthiest countries in the world with one of the most abundant water sources should be able to figure this out."

Canada, as a member of the United Nations, is obligated to put in place a Federal Plan of Action for the Realization of the Right to Water and Sanitation and report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

"The federal government is in violation of this new international recognition," says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians and former Senior Advisor on Water to the UN General Assembly. "It has obligations to fulfil and we must not let it off the hook."

Despite the lack of federal action, a growing number of Canadian municipalities have passed resolutions recognizing the human right to water as a result of the Council of Canadians's Blue Communities project.

"One of the wealthiest countries in the world with one of the most abundant water sources should be able to figure this out," says Barlow. "Shame on us for not having done it sooner."

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
The full text of the open letter can be read in English and Spanish.
Take action for the right to water!

Links and sources
  Water justice activists demand action on 2nd anniversary of UN human right to water resolution

Posted: August 16, 2012

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