Legal approach

Law provides the necessary foundation for the protection of an individual’s human rights. It is also the reference of last resort – providing a basis for enforcement and redress in the case of abuse. Ultimately, states are accountable to the international community for their efforts to secure enjoyment of human rights.

Frank Nansam-Aggrey, District Manager Rural Aid, Bongo and Bolgatanga Districts, Ghana.

WaterAid/ Jon Spaull

When states parties fulfil their obligation under international human rights law to incorporate human rights into national legislation and policies, the right to water becomes enforceable at the national level. Individuals can then access appropriate legal remedy in cases of violation without discrimination.

There remains much to be done to strengthen access to legal redress in cases on the right to water. Yet there have been a number of cases throughout the world in which the right to water has been recognised and legally enforced at the national and local levels. To read examples please see the legal case studies.

Read more about  countries who have recognised the right to water and sanitation in their national legislation