Clean Water and Sanitation Are Human Rights

Clean Water and Sanitation Are Human Rights

World Toilet Day is November 19. Amnesty International USA is teaming up with WaterAid to support the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act.

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In September 2010, the U.N. Human Rights Council affirmed by consensus that the right to water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, which is contained in several international human rights treaties.

Part of the Demand Dignity Campaign’s human right to housing work is on equal access to services for people living in inadequate housing – and clean water and sanitation are crucial services, and basic human rights.

Did You Know?

  • 2.6 billion people in the world lack access to adequate sanitation, including 1.2 billion people who have no facilities at all.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease – that’s 4,000 children every day.
  • The majority of the illness in the world is caused by fecal matter. In fact, 50% of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering water-related diseases.
  • People living in slums often pay 5-10 times more for water than those in rich areas of their own cities – and more than consumers pay in New York.

The Water for the World Act

The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act (S. 641) would further United States leadership on fulfilling the right to water and sanitation for people around the globe. This bipartisan bill, introduced by Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Corker (R-TN), would help provide 100,000,000 people with first-time, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation within six years.

About WaterAid

WaterAid's vision is of a world where everyone has access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities. They work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximize their impact. Learn more at

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Tell us what you have done to help make the rights to water and sanitation real! Send your updates and photos to [email protected].

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