September 17, 2018

French Version of the IWA Manual on Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Practitioners

An engineer controlling the quality of water , aerated activated sludge tank at a waste water treatment plant

Launch: Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 12:50-13:10 | IWA Stand 115 at the Exhibition Area

Tokyo, Japan, 18 September 2018. For the progressive realization of the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation to be achieved to its full potential, utility managers and other service operators, planners and Operation & Maintenance staff, and regulators have a central role to play. For this they need up-to-date information and tools to make informed decisions in their daily routines.

For IWA it is a core function to inform its members of this and other international policy and legal frameworks – “while governments are the duty-bearers for the implementation of the Rights, they need to rely on actors in the field to make progress, achieve targets and monitor the evolution towards universal rights. Think of it any time you use safe water, or when you use a clean sanitation facility: these are not just facilities; they are your Right –your Human Right! And this Right remains denied to billions of people around the world! IWA helps practitioners make universal coverage a reality” says Professor Kala Vairavamoorthy, IWA Executive Director.

The Manual on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Practitioners is IWA’s contribution to “translate” into operational and regulatory terms how this can be achieved. It has been developed with the needs and interests of the IWA membership in mind. To reach out to all involved in implementing these rights, IWA adds to the English and Portuguese versions, the French translation. Today the Manual will reach francophone practitioners, helping them to engage more actively in national policy and legislative dialogues, and to give the right and effective impulses to translate the rights into operative policies, standard operational practice and corporate guidelines.

This is a powerful step towards advancing in the realization of these human rights worldwide. According to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie about 300 million people in the world are French speakers, and this number is expected to increase to 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in living in Africa. Zooming in on daily water and sanitation operations in places like Banfora –an urban commune in Burkina Faso– the Manual will ensure that support to its 153,574 inhabitants can now be done within human rights framework, esuring no-one is left behind. Currently, 69% of this commune’s inhabitants have access to at least an improved source within 30 minutes round trip collection time and 28% to sanitation with at least use of improved facilities which are not shared with other households (IRC, 2017).

The Manual was developed by practitioners – IWA members representing utility operators, regulators, and experts in the water sector – and for practitioners. To reach everyone, however, its availability in all major languages is key: “translating the Manual is almost as important as writing it, the text should reflect its meaning across cultures, regions, and continents –after all, it has its roots in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Manual has been written to make sense at a local level for those who are to put it into practice –e could not do this without practitioners” says Ms. Carolina Latorre, co-author and IWA Water Policy and Regulation lead.

Like the English and Portuguese versions, the Manual in French will be available Open Access to a global readership shortly. The publication will be formally launched at the IWA World Water Congress and Exhibition in Tokyo, Japan 16-21 September 2018.


Download the publication in French.

About the Launch

Wednesday, 19 September 2018, 12:50-13:10 | IWA Stand 115 at the Exhibition Area



Ms. Carolina Latorre, co-author and IWA Water Policy and Regulation lead


Kala Vairavamoorthy, IWA Executive Director

Robert Bos, leading author, IWA Senior advisor

Basile Ebah, General Manager, SODECI Water Company, Ivory Coast

Sylvain Usher, Executive Director, African Water Association (AfWA), Africa region


About the Manual

The Sustainable Development Goals stipulate universal access to water and sanitation by 2030, with an explicit mention of the human rights to water and sanitation and a focus on women, girls and vulnerable people. This has significant implications for the bodies, organisations and institutions with a responsibility for delivering water and sanitation services. The Manual on Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Practitioners originates from the need to respond to these implications. Not only does it highlight the human rights principles and criteria in relation to drinking water and sanitation, but it also outlines the role and responsibilities of service providers and regulators in realising these rights. For examples, it guides them on how to work with governments to remove discriminatory practices, to ensure that there is adequate information available to people using or wishing to use services, and to provide effective complaint mechanisms.


The International Water Association is a global knowledge hub for water professionals and anyone concerned about the future of water. It has an over seventy-year heritage connecting water professionals worldwide to find solutions to the world’s water challenges as part of a broader sustainability agenda. As a non-profit organisation with members in more than 130 countries, the IWA connects scientists to practitioners and communities so that pioneering research delivers sustainable solutions. It further fosters technological innovation and drives best practice through international frameworks and standards.




For more information, please contact:

Carolina Latorre

Ulrike Kelm