Our Right to Water

Posted on March 20, 2012  Tagged with: ,
Mar 202012
 

In July 2010, The Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project joined people around the world celebrating the end of a decade-long battle to have water and sanitation recognized as a human right at the  United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of resolution 64/292. But we knew it was only the beginning of the struggle to ensure water justice for all.

In order to ensure that the newly recognized right served as a tool for social movements and frontline communities,  Council of Canadians National Chairperson and Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow wrote and released the report: Our Right to Water: A People’s Guide to Implementing the United Nations’ Recognition of Water and Sanitation as a Human Right. [Available in: English, English with Canadian Appendix, français, español, português]

The Blue Planet Project is now launching a series of reports as additional chapters to Our Right to Water. These reports examine the status of the human right to water and sanitation from the frontlines of struggles across the globe. They provide insight and analysis into how our allies around the world are promoting the human right to water and sanitation in their countries against a backdrop of land grabs, mining injustice, economic austerity, and environmental racism.

More than one year after historic UN resolutions recognized water and sanitation as a human right, it is imperative that communities and civil society define this right and demand its implementation. The Blue Planet Project is working in solidarity with the groups featured in these reports to support local campaigns for water justice.

Argentina (Spanish)
Click here for the English summary.
This report, written by Argentine Humans Rights Advocacy group FOCO, examines the human right to water within the context of climate change and mining. It illustrates how large-scale mining projects like Barrick Gold’s Pascua Lama gold mine, operating in an area where there are 40 glaciers, pose a serious threat to water security in the region.

Colombia (Spanish)
This report, by Irene Vélez Torres and Hildebrando Vélez Galeano, examines environmental racism and the history of water-grabbing and land dispossession in the Afro-Colombian regions of the country. It is the result of participatory research conducted between 2009 and 2011.

Colombia (Spanish)
This report, written by Javier Márquez Valderrama, examines the popular mobilization that took place in Colombia to promote a water referendum to recognize the fundamental human right to water. Although national politics impeded this democratic process, the popular mobilization has brought important progress in some areas.

Ecuador (Spanish)
Click here for the English summary.
Ecuador has abundant water supplies and a newly adopted constitution that recognizes the human right to water and the rights of nature, yet as this report shows, there are still many obstacles preventing more than 30 per cent of Ecuadorians from enjoying this right.

Europe (English)
This report by the Blue Planet Project, Food and Water Watch, the European Federation of Public Service Unions and Public Services International Research Unit, examines the impacts of austerity measures and water privatization on the human right to water. It was produced collectively by social justice, environmental and labour groups from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.

India (English)  / India (Hindi)
India’s immense population growth and commitment to development, with the resulting expansion of the energy sector and mega hydro electrical projects, are at odds with growing water scarcity in the country and the realization of the human right to water for all. This report, written by the National Alliance of People’s Movements, calls for a progressive people-centred development strategy and water sector reforms designed to meet the development objectives of international financial institutions.

Indonesia (English)
World Bank-imposed market-based water policies have led to deep inequalities in access to water and sanitation in Indonesia. This report by KruHa (The People’s Coalition for the Right to Water) demonstrates how the country’s new water legislation contradicts a long history of respecting water as a commons in Indonesian tradition.

Palestine (English)
In this report, the Palestinian collective Life Source explores violations of the human right to water by Israel and the Palestinian authority in West Bank and Gaza, and demonstrate the importance of global solidarity in achieving the human right to water for Palestinians.

The United States (English)
This report, written by Food and Water Watch, identifies the historic and systemic violations of the human right water among Native Americans, economically disadvantaged communities, and communities of colour in the United States. It calls for a national action plan that eliminates inequality and protects water resources.

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