Pictured above: Géraldine Gené, legal advisor at WaterLex, presenting during the seminar in Honduras.
On Tuesday this week, WaterLex held a seminar in Honduras on “Los desafios de la implementación de los derechos humanos al agua y al saneamiento y el ods 6 en Honduras” (the challenges of implementing human rights to water and sanitation and SDG 6 in Honduras). The purpose of the seminar was to assist different key actors in the water and sanitation sector to identify the main challenges they face in implementing the human rights to water and sanitation and fulfilling SDG 6. Based on presentations of human rights standards and principles, a regional project and the thorough legal mapping of Honduras, conducted by WaterLex earlier this year, existing gaps and good practices were identified and highlighted during the seminar. The aim was to provide support in coming up with possible solutions to existing issues in the participants respective area of work.
Among the participants invited were the National Human Rights Commission, civil society organisations, water and sanitation workers, members of government institutions, international organisations, and a variety of actors who are directly related to the human rights to water and sanitation and SDG 6. 20 people attended the seminar, in which a few were a little sceptical to begin with. By the end of the seminar, however, most of the participants were enthusiastic, eager to implement the discussed good practices, and solutions to existing gaps, to their respective “square metres”. The latter was a term coined during the seminar and much welcomed and adopted by the participants. It emphasies the ability for all to act as catalysts for change.
A key factor in improving access to water and sanitation is the level of accountability, something that was reiterated during this seminar. To continue providing capacity building and legal advice is an important part of ensure a high level of accountability. Regulatory agencies might need additional support in order to fully understand the implications of their obligations under international and national law, as to guarantee effective realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation.