The End Water Poverty and UNISON, the UK’s largest union, published the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Advocacy Toolkit for civil society, trade unionists and activists.
This toolkit equips advocates with tactics and strategies to hold governments accountable for guaranteeing people’s access to water and sanitation. It starts by guiding readers through the international human rights framework, outlining people’s entitlements, the state’s obligations, and the various accountability mechanisms advocates can use to pursue justice.
The goal of this toolkit is to equip you with tools to:
- Make the case for quality, publicly provided water and sanitation services
- Campaign for the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation to be enshrined in national law
- Campaign against privatisation and forms of management and ownership models that threaten service provision based on public solidarity
- Build strong civil society coalitions, particularly with trade unions, to achieve these goals
A rights violation can take many forms. It can look like a mother collecting unsafe water next to an open sewer. It can look like ineffective septic tanks, shoddily constructed pit latrines, open sewers that expose people to disease. It can look like the billions of people who are unable to protect themselves or their families from contracting Covid because they are denied safe, affordable, reliable water services.
The toolkit’s author Laurin Liu, Canada’s youngest female parliamentarian, then makes the case for quality, publicly provided water and sanitation services. She examines how privatisation has weakened water and sanitation services – from eroding access to diminishing quality and endangering human rights – using examples from Argentina, Cameroon, Chile, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, and more.
You will learn
- Tools for pressuring governments to enshrine the human rights in national laws, policies and regulations
- How neoliberal policies and global trends have led to the normalisation of privatised water and sanitation services
- The different types of private-sector involvement in water and sanitation services
- Alternatives to privatisation such as municipalisation and public-public partnerships
- Steps for planning and executing advocacy at the national and local levels
- How to build coalitions between civil society, trade unions and social movements