Progress so far

Much progress has already been made in the development of universally recognised human rights to water and sanitation. This section contains an overview of important international and regional legal instruments and conferences that led to the recognition of the right to water and sanitation in 2010

It also contains information on countries that have included the rights to water and sanitation in their national legal frameworks and used it as a guide for developing national policies.

Essenati Obadi and other women carrying water they collected at the well home, Malica Village, near Lichinga, Niassa province, Mozambique

WaterAid/ Jon Spaull

In some cases, countries have explicitly adopted legal provisions recognising the right to water and sanitation as human rights.

In other cases, governments have not adopted an explicit provision, but have adapted its legal framework for the implementation of the right to water and sanitation and/or have developed policies focused on extending coverage to members of vulnerable and marginalised groups and creating water services which are affordable for all.