The human right to sanitation is an international binding norm, and the obligation to protect respect and realise these human rights is not only for governments.  Businesses also have a duty.  It should not only be a ‘nice to have’ but it can also make good business sense.

Amanda Loeffen introduces this concept at the Sanitation Economy Summit, hosted by the Toilet Board Coalition.

What does it mean?  Many people are not very sure, as it can seem to be a nebulous concept, and it is complicated to realise.

WaterLex has a checklist tool that provides a methodology and step-by-step guide, available on our website. It walks businesses through how to include the most vulnerable groups of people in their services, and how to develop a business case around it. One of the hardest parts of scaling up is in getting the funds to realise the economies of scale.

Here are four ways that employing the human rights framework can help:

  1. Involving the local government to trust the private sector
  2. Lowering the risk of investment through enabling legal structures such as subsidies and regulations
  3. Creating a standard to protect the investment
  4. Providing a service that people actually want

Not only does this approach create demand for your service, lower risk and protect your investment, but it is absolutely essential for realising government targets on SDG 6.2 (on sanitation) and enabling all vulnerable people to have access to safe and sustainable sanitation.