COVID-19 and the human rights to water and sanitation

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, together with 22 other mandate-holders, have made a joint statement underscoring the vital need to guarantee access to water and sanitation during the pandemic, particularly to those in the most vulnerable situations. 
“[O]ne way to prevent the spread of the virus is to practice proper personal hygiene by washing our hands using soap and water. ‘Washing hands frequently’ is a simple daily routine of many but it is a privilege and luxury for those who do not have adequate water and sanitation services and those who face the ironic decision of whether to drink water or use the water to wash their hands.
As human rights experts of the United Nations system, we take this occasion to appeal, once again, for the governments around the world to implement or reinstate the policy of prohibiting water cuts as well as other basic supplies and to guarantee a minimum level of water and essential basic supplies to those who face difficulties to pay for those services and supplies.”
Read the full statement here.
Photo by UNICEF/Manpreet Romana
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