Vision, Mission and Values


A world where there is sustainable use and access to safe water and sanitation for all


To secure the human rights to water and sanitation through law and policy reform

Our Values

WaterLex has four main differentiating values and principles:

Knowledge Based

We are driven to achieve impact through objective analysis and high quality research.



We aim to make concrete recommendations based on a well-researched picture of country legal and policy contexts, tailored to have a greater chance of success.


We recognise that impact can be achieved more quickly and efficiently through partnerships, working with like-minded players with a vision to contribute to water and sanitation governance.


Neutral & Independent

We are an expert organisation that does not represent a particular stakeholder group or local population.

Our Origins

The right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation was recognised as a human right by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010 and addressed as two distinct rights in a resolution of the General Assembly in 2015. Governments are obliged to take responsibility to realise Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (HRWS) progressively, and are thus required to take targeted measures over time to achieve universal coverage. Despite progress reported in terms of access to water and sanitation globally, the full realisation of the HRWS is still far from being realised.

State action is needed in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which can contribute to the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation and to ensure a focus on the poorest, most vulnerable and those furthest behind. The incorporation of HRWS standards and principles into implementation and monitoring processes is necessary. This calls for political framing of international commitments in national contexts.

“In today’s Sustainable Development Goals Agenda, the human rights to water and sanitation are embedded, but not assured. WaterLex is working towards mainstreaming of these rights, such that no-one is left behind.” Amanda Loeffen, Director General of WaterLex.

WaterLex has become the “catalysing link” between human rights mechanisms, academic institutions and development agencies. The credibility of the organization is enshrined in its specialised legal and policy skills relating to the human rights to water and sanitation. WaterLex is strengthened substantially by its members, who are internationally renowned human rights specialists, including several former and current UN and Regional Treaty Body experts, and UN Human Rights Council mandate holders. WaterLex is valued for its expertise in research and assistance on the implementation of the human rights to water and sanitation.

WaterLex promotes water dialogues, improved water cooperation, and brings sustainable water governance to the forefront of the global agenda.