Embedding and integrating a human rights-based approach

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We believe that extreme poverty cannot be eradicated without universal access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). We also recognise that achieving universal access to these basic services depends on identifying and addressing the reasons why the poorest and most marginalised people live without them.

Our experience has shown us that millions of people being forced to live without access to these basic services is due not only to a lack of resources and technologies, but also the inequitable power relations that exist in our world. A Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) can help us analyse the issues around inequitable power relations that prevent the poorest and most marginalised people from realising their right to safe WASH.

This document sets out our understanding of an HRBA to water and sanitation, and its relevance to the realisation of our vision of 'everyone, everywhere by 2030'. In it we provide guidelines for integrating the principles of an HRBA into programme design, and spell out some of the practical implications of adopting this approach, both at operational and organisational levels.

In collaboration with other organisations we have also developed a set of materials based on the human rights to water and sanitation, to support our work with local government. See this website for further details.