Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: From Theory to Practice

December 2012

Human rights to water and sanitation represent a new and innovative area of research focus, with the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration and scholarship. Just last year, the United Nations General Assembly and Human Rights Council recognized these rights, articulating a global moral imperative to help the nearly 1 billion people without access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water, and the nearly 2.6 billion people without access to sanitation services. This exploratory seminar will bring together scholars to explore the philosophical foundations of human rights to water and sanitation; examine the legal dimensions from international and comparative law perspectives; and address the policy implications of water’s status as an economic good, a public good, and now, a human right. By convening a select group of scholars from different disciplines, who do not share the same perspective but are all eager to understand the bigger picture, this seminar will move forward dialogue and debate on the theoretical and practical dimensions of this new and controversial area in human rights discourse.