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The Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development commissioned The Centre for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC) to produce a report examining national laws and policies related to water and sanitation in Francophone African countries.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted Resolution 64/292 which recognizes “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.” The Resolution also calls upon states and international organizations to provide financial resources, assist with capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries, and supply safe, clean, accessible, and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.
With this explicit recognition, the UNGA Resolution kickstarted a period of renewed focus on water and sanitation rights. In 2015, countries re-affirmed their commitment to the right by declaring “clean water and sanitation for all” as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6).
Despite these commitments, progress has been relatively slow in the realization of these rights. One in three people still lack access to safe drinking water, more than half of the global population do not have safe sanitation, and around 3 billion people suffer from shortages in basic handwashing facilities with soap and water. Accordingly, countries are not on track to meet SDG 6.
Water and sanitation rights are necessary for survival. Making them visible and meaningful in national laws is an important step towards realizing access to these rights. With Still Progress: Reviewing the Implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in Francophone Africa report, GFLJD intends to shed light on the right to water and sanitation in the domestic context, and hopes to promote and urge countries to protect these rights in their national laws to ensure their full realization.