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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


Post 2015 development agenda and MDGs

There is a need to redefine progress in the context of development and explicitly include equality, non-discrimination and equity at its foundations. In the 21st century, progress must no longer continue to mask inequalities and discrimination. The future development agenda must include measures to determine how progress is distributed and who is excluded. It must create incentives to eliminate inequalities and focus on the most disadvantaged. Now is the time to act.

Through collaborating with human rights experts, sector professionals, and data specialists, the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation has developed proposals for the future development framework that meet human rights standards and principles, are relevant to the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, and are feasible from the perspective of data collection. Current limitations in measurements should not deter the international community from committing to a robust set of targets.

The boundaries of what is currently perceived as measurable must be pushed to shed light on persistent inequalities. Most importantly, the future framework must not stop at monitoring income disparities and general notions of inequity, but must seek to detect different types of discrimination in order to examine and address their root causes.

The report is available in all UN languages: E F S A C R / Summary of the report: E F S

The Special Rapporteur has prepared a paper entitled THE FUTURE IS NOW- Eliminating inequalities in sanitation, water and hygiene" for the thematic consultation on “Addressing inequalities: The Heart of the Post-2015 Development Agenda” in October 2012 co-lead by UNICEF and UN Women.

See here the document Eliminating Inequalities: Towards a Post-2015 Development Agenda. Proposal of Equality and Non-Discrimination Working Group UNICEF-WHO Joint Monitoring Programme.

The Special Rapporteur has prepared a framing paper entitled "Human Rights and WASH, water resources and wastewater" for the thematic consultation on "water" in the post-2015 development agenda.

Joint statement on post-2015 development agenda by the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations, UNICEF, UN Women and WaterAid New York, 21 February 2013

The Rights to Water and Sanitation and the MDGs

Human Rights Council resolution 7/22 requested the Special Rapporteur to make recommendations that could help the realization of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular of Goal 7. Her report to the General Assembly in October 2010 analyses the MDGs targets on water and sanitation from a human rights perspective. She made recommendations on how these targets could be better aligned with human rights criteria.

The report is available in all UN languages: E F S A C R

She continues to work closely with UNICEF and WHO, who run the Joint Monitoring Programme, which is responsible for reporting on progress towards the MDG targets on water and sanitation, in order to integrate human rights into MDG policy and processes. In this regard, the JMP has embarked on a process to consider new indicators for the post-2015 process guided by human rights criteria. At the first stakeholder consultation on this issue, the Special Rapporteur delivered a keynote address.

Other useful links:

OHCHR: Water, Sanitation and the MDGs