A Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) to Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)

Cap-Net UNDP / WaterLex / REDICA / UNDP Water Governance Facility at SIWI Human rights to water and sanitation

Target Audience

The course is open to a maximum of 50 participants representing various stakeholder groups from the entire water sector:
• Stakeholders and professionals forming part of water management, civil society, river basin or international organizations; development programmes and members of UN organizations; and representatives of the private sector;
• decision makers, policy makers, and high-level professionals and managers active in governmental bodies;
• capacity developers active in the fields of sustainable water management, Integrated Water Resources Management, Human Rights Based Approaches, amongst others;

As an introductory course, participants are not expected to have previous knowledge on Human Rights Based Approaches.


The course brings together two fields that, until recently, have been separate: human rights and IWRM. These two fields have been brought together as awareness has grown within the human rights community that water management is fundamental to the realization of a range of human rights.

Similarly, water-management practitioners have become increasingly aware of the crucial importance of water in key human rights domains, such as the right to life, the right to health, the right to food and the right
to a healthy environment. Water is a resource that is essential to life itself, to all forms of economic production, to many forms of social interaction, to many cultural activities and to the maintenance of ecosystems.

This online course offers participants an introduction to the main principles and concepts for a human rights based approach to IWRM, as an essential condition to improve access to water and sanitation and achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course participants will:
• have an updated approach and review of the main concepts and principles of IWRM, HRBA and water governance;
• understand the need for a rights based approach for IWRM including recognizing the difference between a water right and the right to water;
• review examples of good practices related to promoting HRBA to IWRM and establish a tool for the implementation of HRBA to IWRM;
• have access to updated quality materials in support of specific subject areas for human rights and water management.