Skip to main content Accessibility help
The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation
  • Export citation
  • Recommend to librarian
  • Buy the print book

Book description

This analysis of the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation (HRtWS) uncovers why some groups around the world are still excluded from these rights. Léo Heller, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, draws on his own research in nine countries and reviews the theoretical, legal, and political issues involved. The first part presents the origins of the HRtWS, their legal and normative meanings and the debates surrounding them. Part II discusses the drivers, mainly external to the water and sanitation sector, that shape public policies and explain why individuals and groups are included in or excluded from access to services. In Part III, public policies guided by the realization of HRtWS are addressed. Part IV highlights populations and spheres of living that have been particularly neglected in efforts to promote access to services.


‘This book provides solid grounding; systematically debunks some frequent casual criticisms; teases apart critical stakeholders and functions; and constructively tackles complex issues like affordability, regulation; discrimination and disadvantage, displaced populations and public places. It will be useful for anyone seeking to learn about linking human rights with real-world progress in water and sanitation.’

Jamie Bartram - Professor University of Leeds, UK and Professor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

‘This book provides a one-of-a-kind analysis on the human rights to water and sanitation based on Leo Heller's six years of experience as the UN Special Rapporteur and his contribution to the promotion of those rights. A must read for all champions of the human rights to water and sanitation – equally for those who are not very familiar with the subject and those who have followed Heller's work as the UN Special Rapporteur’

Michelle Bachelet - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

‘Through his book, Professor Leo Heller brings together the theory and practice of the human rights to water and sanitation, offering the reader invaluable and unique insights coming not only from his rich academic career, but also from his mandate as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation. His analysis, stories and examples transport the reader to the country visits he undertook and confront us with the concrete and practical challenges in the realization of these basic human rights.’

Catarina de Albuquerque - first UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation and CEO of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership

‘Listening to the people whose human rights have been violated is essential. Leo Heller, in his mandate at the UN, listened with particular attention to them, and this book emerges from an empathetic listening, dialogue and reflection. A book that rigorously outlines concepts that can be seen as elusive and diffuse, and ends up highlighting actions for the effective fulfilment of human rights, empowering social movements and rights defenders.’

Pedro Arrojo-Agudo - current Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation

Refine List

Actions for selected content:

Select all | Deselect all
  • View selected items
  • Export citations
  • Download PDF (zip)
  • Save to Kindle
  • Save to Dropbox
  • Save to Google Drive

Save Search

You can save your searches here and later view and run them again in "My saved searches".

Please provide a title, maximum of 40 characters.


Page 1 of 2

  • 1 - Emergence and Consolidation of Legal Obligations
    pp 11-33

Page 1 of 2


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Book summary page views

Total views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between #date#. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.