South East Asia

WaterLex contributed as experts to the development of a regional declaration on HRWS through the AICHR / ASEAN conference in Borneo in October 2017. This follows the 2012 declaration by the ASEAN group which recognised the HRWS. The new declaration is in the process of being endorsed by the ten countries in this region, providing a demonstrable support for HRWS. This Regional consultation organised by AICHR was attended by 60 representatives from most of the ASEAN countries, including relevant ministries, water experts and representatives from the NHRIs. Experts included Virginia Dandan (ex-CESCR), Cynthia Veliko (OHCHR), Helena Olsson and Matthew Scott (RWI), Apichai Sun (Thai consultant to ASEAN), Amanda Loeffen (WaterLex) and Jo-Ann Ding. The meeting included presentations from the key speakers followed by expert country presentations to summarise the current status of water and sanitation, and an introduction from Virginia Dandan on international and regional HR mechanisms. WaterLex General Director, Amanda Loeffen, presented on how ASEAN could take a regional approach to accelerating implementation of SDG 6, using WaterLex country mapping to inform the development of tailored indicators, and guidelines for reforming law and policy to be more compliant with SDG6. The final day of the meeting was dedicated to working group discussions on each of the human rights criteria and what they mean for the ASEAN region. The outcome of this day will be summarised in a paper that should be endorsed by all the ASEAN countries. This will form the Summary of the AICHR Regional Consultation on The Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation in ASEAN (with emphasis on rural communities). Following on from this consultation, WaterLex has continued to support AICHR in developing a country legal mapping programme for all ten countries such that the WaterLex methodology can be used to help understanding of the current status of water and sanitation in the region, and provide recommendations for integration into law.