What We Do

Most of our programmes are founded on a legal research programme, whereby we analyse the country or region in question, and use our country mapping methodology to identify gaps in the current governance framework with respect to meeting human rights to water and sanitation.  We have tested and refined this methodology, with the pro bono support of international law firms such as White and Case, to enable us to train legal experts, such that this analysis can be shared with a wider pool of international human rights and legal experts.  We are building up an online library of completed country mappings to share with governments and development organisations worldwide.

From this foundation of knowledge, WaterLex is able to develop constructive capacity enhancement programmes, at regional, country or river basin level, whereby we raise awareness of the HRWS, and help develop   action plans to support a range of actors to impact reform.  Our programmes with NHRIs, parliamentarians, development organisations, water authorities and actors in the WASH and IWRM sectors, are all geared towards introducing a human rights-based approach (HRBA) and improving State responsibilities for protecting, respecting and fulfilling human rights. Accountability is introduced through the development of human rights sensitive monitoring tools.

Catalyst for Change

WaterLex is the catalyst for change in sustainable water governance and management through multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships. Working to influence and effect change at the national, regional and international levels through dialogue, advocacy and multi-stakeholder consultative processes. Stakeholders include ministries, parliamentarians, NHRIs, water service providers, regulators, civil society and human rights mechanisms. 

Legal Reform

Improved legal and policy frameworks and monitoring; strengthening legal and policy frameworks in line with the human rights to water and sanitation. This reform can also be realised through changes in mechanisms and processes to bolster the mandates of independent public monitoring bodies and the capabilities of statistics bureaus to capture disaggregated data. 


Supporting enforcement of decision-making and WASH service delivery regulation procedures through clearly defined duties and responsibilities. This captures the definition and implementation of human-rights sensitive indicators to assist monitoring institutions.


Our legal and policy research is fundamental to better understand water, sanitation and water governance at the international, national and local levels. National level research on water law and policy frameworks for human rights compliance to support programmes on water and sanitation governance. This comprehensive research is the foundation for all activities, preparation of knowledge products and capacity enhancement activities, as a starting point for change. 

Capacity Building

Raising awareness on the human right to water and sanitation and increasing capacity of SDG 6 stakeholders and implementers is fundamental to our work. Building on the gaps identified in WaterLex research to share knowledge, build skills and develop tools to enhance awareness and address tailored needs of governments, National Human Rights Institutions, sector stakeholders, and civil society organisations.