The millions of migrants and refugees in transient accommodation create an environmental and humanitarian crisis. Migration can have a radical impact on access to water and sanitation services and presents significant practical challenges in ensuring that we are Leaving No One Behind.

There is little compiled evidence on migrants’ access to water and sanitation during their journeys, but even the ability to access basic water and sanitation services has proven difficult and sometimes even fatal. Camps set up for refugees and migrants usually have better access to water and sanitation service than during the journey of getting there, but often do not meet the standard of being safely managed – resulting in reports of unsanitary conditions and waterborne disease in transit camps around the world. The situation reflects the technical challenges of meeting standards for basic and safely managed water and sanitation, as well as governance-related obstacles.

The poor visibility of migrants in data limits the understanding of their needs. To realise Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) and “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all”, specific measures to address the needs of refugees and other migrants are essential. Along with long-term and sustainable solutions, we need to increase awareness of the connection between the right to a healthy environment, and its connection with the right to safe water and sanitation.

The 1st World Summit on Leaving No One Behind recognises that ensuring that no one is left behind requires higher emphasis on investments aimed at the hardest-to-reach people and groups. For this reason, one of the six themes of the World Summit on Leaving No One Behind is on Refugees and Migrants.  The Summit calls for ideas for projects that can help solve the issues related to water and sanitation for Refugees and Migrants.

  • Innovations for Ecologically Based Approach water and sanitation technologies for displaced persons
  • Recognition of status of refugees with respect to water and sanitation

If you have an idea for a project, make sure to submit an abstract by October 30th for the opportunity to present your idea and have the chance to receive seed funding to initiate your project. More information on the Summit and how to submit an abstract is available at www.waterlex.org/summit.