Embedding and integrating a human rights-based approach

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WaterAid believes that extreme poverty cannot be eradicated without universal access to safe WASH. WaterAid also recognises 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 is also a result of 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 WaterAid’s understanding of an HRBA to water and sanitation, and its relevance to the realisation of the organisation’s vision of 'everyone,everywhere by 2030'. It provides guidelines for integrating the principles of an HRBA into programme design,and spells out some of the practical implications of adopting this approach, both at the operational and organisational levels.