Global activism on the human rights to water and sanitation

The right to water has been a powerful tool for global activism on water related issues. It has been a rallying point for activists from across the globe and has strengthened their campaigns to demand access to water services. It has also been used to promote the conservation of rivers and to oppose large scale damming and drainage projects that threaten ecosystems and local livelihoods.

Local level activism is beginning to feed into a more organised global water movement of civil society organisations and national/international NGOs. Over the last decade, national, regional and global events have been organised aiming to bring together civil society groups and NGO’s campaigning on environmental and social water issues.

Such events have played an important role in increasing the visibility of the right to water and have provided the opportunity for concerted action. They have also enabled organisations to showcase successful alternatives to large-scale privatisation schemes. Such alternatives promote low cost community-led and community-managed water and sanitation projects.

These events allow NGOs and civil society organisations to:

  • Strengthen their campaigns through sharing information, expertise and experiences
  • Draw attention to specific cases where the right to water is being violated and demonstrate successful advocacy campaigns
  • Network, build coalitions and form partnerships
  • Give voice to the concerns of marginalized groups who are often excluded from participating in national and international policymaking
  • Promote global solidarity and strengthen global, regional and national collective action, through the production of strategies and plans of action

For more information on what you can do please see Undertaking Advocacy.