NHRI Compilation cover capture

By David Snow | WaterLex |

The international public-interest development organisation WaterLex has published a new book offering novel approaches to help realise peoples’ human rights: National Human Rights Institutions and Water Governance: Compilation of Good Practices (click link for download).

The book’s official launch will take place on 13 March 2015 at a WaterLex side event to the 28th Session of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland (UN badge required for entry). The side event, open to national human rights institutions (NHRIs), is entitled, “Monitoring Sustainable Development Goals (Water and Sanitation): The Role of National Human Rights Institutions.”

The book gathers good practices and relevant cases involving efforts by National Human Rights Intuitions (NHRIs) to realise human rights among populations in their countries. The book’s purpose is to share knowledge among NHRIs wishing to enhance their role in monitoring water governance and achieving a human rights-based approach to it. The book chronicles experiences of 21 NHRIs in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, and Africa.

“NHRIs are the cornerstone of national human rights protection systems,” said WaterLex Legal Desk Officer Viktoria Mohos Naray, who manages the organisation’s NHRI Water Initiative, of which the book is a part. “They are uniquely placed to potentially play an enhanced role in monitoring water governance for the realization of human rights.”

The initiative, launched in partnership with the Hungarian Ombudsman for Future Generations at the March 2014 ICC meeting, serves as an open call for collaboration to all NHRIs interested in stronger roles in water governance.

The book identifies a variety of practices, such as proposed legislation, institutional frameworks, planning and coordination measures, and complaint procedures, which influence both policymaking and procedural implementation in water governance. The practices are considered “good” if they contribute to the realisation of the following human rights, all of which are interconnected and can be strongly influenced by water governance:

  • right to water and sanitation;
  • right to a healthy environment;
  • right to food;
  • right to health;
  • rights of indigenous peoples;
  • rights of future generations.

“This publication intends to identify, gather and document important knowledge about the practices, challenges, key factors in success and important lessons to be learned in activities undertaken by NHRIs,” Mohos Naray said. “These inspiring examples of NHRI activity can pave the way for other NHRIs envisaging an enhanced role towards a human rights-based water governance.”

The book was compiled and published with the financial support of Loterie Romande Switzerland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, although analyses and views expressed in it are solely those of WaterLex. The organisation expresses thanks to the contributing NHRIs, without whom the book would not have been possible.

For more information:

WaterLex International Secretariat
Tel: +41 22 907 36 46
Email: info (at) waterlex.org

About WaterLex:

WaterLex is an international public interest development organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. It is a UN-Water Partner with UN ECOSOC special consultative status. Its mission is to develop sustainable solutions based on human rights to improve water governance worldwide, particularly in regard to consistent water law and policy frameworks. It works with an alliance of interested parties to improve water-governance frameworks, bringing them in line with country obligations under international human rights law. The interested parties are individuals and groups working in government (diplomatic missions), academia (professors of law, researchers), bilateral cooperation (water management advisors), the judiciary (high/supreme courts judges), the UN system (UN-Water family members), and civil society (NGOs that work on water issues). WaterLex works in partnership with 13 universities to continuously enrich the content of the WaterLex Legal Database. The organisation is funded by grants and project financing from public agencies, foundations, private gifts, and in-kind contributions. Established in 2010, when the human right to water was recognised by the UN, the organisation has a secretariat in Geneva with 15 staff members, a supervisory board of directors, and a large pool of members and expert advisors. It is an official member of the Global Water Partnership, UNDP Cap-Net, UNDP Global Water Solidarity, UNEP Global Wastewater Initiative, and Swiss Water Partnership.