The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) organized a two day regional workshop on achieving equitable access to water and sanitation: from assessment to action on 21-22 March 2016 (link). The workshop brought together experts working in the water and sanitation sector as well as other sectors such as environment, education, health, social protection and finance to exchange experiences in achieving  equitable access to water and sanitation in the pan-European region.

aaOne of the main challenges faced in the region is the lack of water mainstreaming in non-water sector policies and plans. To contribute to the discussion, Amanda Loeffen, WaterLex General Manager, made a presentation focused on broadening the range of actors engaged in improving equitable access. Loeffen highlighted the unique role that National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) may play as a facilitator of inclusive law and policy discussions bridging industrial, agricultural, health and traditional water sectors. “Across the world, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) have proven their capacity to mobilize through the NHRI Water Initiative to impact positively the design and monitoring of sustainable water law and policy frameworks”, said Loeffen.

WaterLex contribution aims to input and inform the development of the draft Strategic note on action plans to achieve equitable access to water and sanitation which will guide future activities in this area in the 2017-2019 Work Programme under the Protocol on Water and Health.

For further information:

  • Agenda of the UNECE Workshop (link);
  • WaterLex Publication – National Human Rights Institutions and Water Governance: Compilation of good practices (link);
  • UNECE Publication – No One Left Behind: Good practices to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation in the pan-European region (link);
  • UNECE Publication – The Equitable Access Score-card: supporting policy processes to achieve the human right to water and sanitation (link);

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 85 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 the Swiss Water Partnership.