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United Nations Human Rights Office of the High commissioner
Welcome to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation

Private Sector Participation

Private Sector Participation


Pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 7/22, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque has been mandated:

 "To advance the work by undertaking a study, in cooperation with and reflecting the views of Governments and relevant United Nations bodies, and in further cooperation with the private sector, local authorities, national human rights institutions, civil society organizations and academic institutions, on the further clarification of the content of human rights obligations, including non-discrimination obligations, in relation to access to safe drinking water and sanitation".

The Special Rapporteur focused her 2010 HRC annual report on the human rights obligations and responsibilities which apply in cases of non-State service provision of water and sanitation. The report is available in all UN languages: E F S A C R.

Consultation and submissions

In order to benefit from diverse views and perspectives, the Special Rapporteur organized on 27 January 2010 a public consultation on the issue of human rights obligations in the context of private sector participation in the provision of water and sanitation services.

Stakeholders who were unable to participate in the consultation were encouraged to submit their views in writing. Potential questions to be addressed in submissions include:

• Which obligations do States bear in the context of private sector participation in the provision of water and sanitation services?
• What should the regulatory framework put into place by States provide for?
• Apart from regulation, what additional measures, structures and institutions are necessary?
• What are the responsibilities of the private sector when participating in the provision of water and sanitation services?
• How can existing frameworks on private sector responsibility for human rights protection (including the work of the Special representative of the Secretary General on human rights and transnational corporations and other business enterprises, the OECD guidelines, the Global Compact, etc.) be used to guide our understanding of private sector responsibility in water and sanitation service provision?

In particular, the Independent Expert welcomed submissions that address specific instances of private sector participation analyzing these from a human rights perspective and showing how the participation of the private sector has contributed to or undermined the realization of human rights.

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