#WaterIsAHumanRight: Human Rights to Water and Sanitation
USHRN National Coalition on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation
The US Human Rights Network (USHRN) convenes a national coalition, comprised of over 160 groups and individuals working on the human rights to water and sanitation throughout the United States. The coalition on the human rights to water and sanitation was formed in February 2015, following several key national convenings of people struggling with similar violations of the human rights to water and sanitation. We have come together to facilitate joint organizing and advocacy and share knowledge to create change.
The coalition includes national, local, grassroots, and faith-based organizations, as well as educational institutions and law schools. The members of the coalition and the issues they represent span across urban, rural, and indigenous communities from California to Baltimore and everywhere in between. The coalition includes grassroots activists and directly impacted people as well as lawyers and experts on water policy, utilities, legislation, and human rights.
Some key accomplishments of members of the coalition include the following: Members of the coalition helped organize the 2011 official visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, and the 2014 site visit of the Special Rapporteur to Detroit. They also worked for the passage of California’s Human Right to Water Bill. More recently members of the coalition successfully advocated for UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) recommendations on the right to water and had a thematic hearing on the national human rights to water and sanitation crisis at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in October 2015. In November 2015 the coalition sent a letter to Secretary Kerry on the UNGA water and sanitation resolution.
In January 2016, the coalition sent a letter to President Obama calling for the forthcoming U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct (NAP) to address the human rights to water and sanitation. The coaltion organized and took part in a UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) side event on World Water Day, March 22, 2016, The S Word: Putting the Human Rights to Sanitation and Water at the Forefront of Sustainable Development for Women’s Empowerment, watch the video here.
Additionally we submitted a response to the UN Special Rapporteur on Safe Water and Sanitations’ questionnaire on gender equity. The coalition also submitted a hearing request for a follow-up hearing at the IACHR specifically on the human rights to water and sanitization in the U.S., with U.S. government representatives invited, for the 157th session of the IACHR in April 2016. The hearing request was granted and took place on Monday, April 4, 2016, and you can watch the video here.
Learn more and join our coalition to build our collective voice and power for justice and human rights!
You can sign up for the National Coalition on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Listserv here.
- IACHR Regional Hearing on the Human Rights to Water & Sanitation in the Americas - October 2015
- IACHR US-Specific Hearing on the Human Rights to Water & Sanitation in the US - April 2016
"End the Shameful Violations of The Right to Water" Huffington Post by Ejim Dike and Wenonah Hauter (10/22/15)
"What if Your Tap Water was Too Polluted to Drink?" The Nation, by Michelle Chen (10/30/15)
"People's Water Summit: Women and Girls "Bear Brunt" of Global Crisis," Commons Dreams, by Deirdre Fulton (3/22/16)
"Impacted Communities Testify on US Water Crises at Human Rights Hearing." Shadowproof by Kevin Gosztola (4/4/16)
"U.S. Preaches Human Rights Across The Globe, But Fails to Provide Black and Poor People a Basic Human Right," Atlanta Black Star, by David Love (5/1/16)
This Town Is Sick of Drinking Polluted Water: In one of Alabama’s poorest and most segregated regions, activists are demanding their right to clean water, The Nation, by Michelle Chen (8/19/16)