First Research Findings on the Human Right to Water and Corruption Presented

The Water Integrity Network (WIN), UNESCO-IHE and the Water Governance Centre organised the first Water Integrity Forum in Delft, The Netherlands at the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education on 5-7 June 2013. More than sixty organisations were represented to discuss current practices in the fight against corruption in the water sector. The objectives were to share knowledge and approaches to these complex and varied issues and also to build alliances among organisations to strengthen the effort against corruption and improve integrity in water governance.

WaterLex presented its current research project undertaken in partnership with WIN on the linkages between the human right to water and sanitation and corruption. This research is taking place in the context of recent discussions at the Human Rights Council and OHCHR on the “negative impacts of corruption on the enjoyment of human rights” (link to conference summary). The panel discussion organised by the OHCHR in March 2013 clearly identified the need to examine more concrete human rights violations due to corruption and to build synergies between the UN Convention Against Corruption and human rights conventions.

It is to try to address these challenges that WaterLex focused on the impact of corruption on the human right to water and sanitation. The research first suggests a framework to qualify certain acts of corruption as violation of the human right to water and sanitation. Second, it identifies the contribution the human right to water can make to the fight against corruption, especially through the right to access to information, participation and accountability.

By establishing these clear linkages between human rights and corruption practices occurring in the water sector, WaterLex hopes to open new avenues for the fight against corruption by strengthening at all levels human rights monitoring mechanisms on this issue.

For more information:
WaterLex International Secretariat
Tel: +41 22 907 36 46
Email: info (at)

UPDATE – Documents:
Delft Statement on Water Integrity
Policy Brief on a human rights-based approach to tackling corruption in the water sector
Foundation study on corruption and the human right to water