The Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

IWA Human rights

Target Audience

This Training is part of the post World Water Congress Trainings. The training is open to delegates at an extra fee, and to non delegates.

Managers of utilities;
drinking water quality regulators;
NGO staff with responsibilities for drinking water supply in low- and middle-income countries;
human rights specialists

Expected level of expertise of participants:
a background in drinking water supply and sanitation, from the technical (service delivery) background or from the human rights perspective
5-10 years of experience in the field of drinking water supply
basic insights into the management of drinking water quality
proficiency of English Language


One of the five criteria for the progressive realization of the HRWS is drinking water quality as a metric of safety. Together with access, safety is the issue for which the interface with the SDG6.1 targets and indicators is greatest. This one-day course will aim at elucidating these links and focus on approaches for utilities and regulators to practically apply policy and management measures that focus on achieving universal access to safe drinking water. The drinking water quality indicators will be explained from the perspective of a rights-based approach, put in the overall human rights context and the latest developments in WHO/UNICEF monitoring indicators will be covered

Draft Schedule:
09:00-10:30 Introduction of the course: objectives, programme, way of working, expected results
Introduction to the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
The Human rights perspective in drinking water quality as a key criterion
Status of indicators for drinking water quality for SDG target 6.1 … WHO/UNICEF JMP
Introduction group work

11:00-12:30 Group work to identify and analyse challenges in adopting and promoting water quality issues as
seen through a human rights lens and in relation to the SDG target – policies, regulation,
management, monitoring
Group presentations

14:00-15:30 Practical approaches to strengthening drinking water quality management: the IWA Manual on
Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation
Recommended actions emanating from the UN Special Rapporteur on the HRWS
One or two case studies
Introduction group work

16:00-17:30 Group work to consider and design approaches aimed at strengthening the drinking water quality component in efforts towards the progressive realization of the HRWS in the management and regulation of drinking water supply service delivery.
Group presentations

Learning Objectives

After this training, you will have a better understanding of:

– the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, and what these entail for service delivery in terms of policies, regulation and management
– the specific needs for drinking water quality as a human rights criterion, and how to tackle human rights challenges in drinking water quality management
– how the human rights criterion of drinking water quality relates to the indicators of target 6.1 under the Sustainable Development Goals framework

And they will have developed skills:
– to engage in a productive dialogue between utility managers, regulators and human rights specialists
to make considered decisions on introducing human rights elements into their managerial and regulatory functions.