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The Human Right to Water from the United States to Switzerland
In a special report presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 15, 2011, the U.N. Special Rapporteur for the Human Right to Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque found that while the majority of U.S. residents have adequate drinking water and sanitation services, millions of Americans still do not have access to safe, affordable water to meet their basic human needs.
Earlier this year, de Albuquerque's embarked on an 11-day mission that took her to several regions around the nation, including northern California, Boston and Cape Cod in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. She met with and heard testimony from civil-society organizations and community members affected by the lack of safe, sufficient, affordable water for daily human needs.
The report, which outlines the observations and recommendations from her trip, raises serious concerns about Americans who are denied equal access or who face discriminatory policies that reflect differences in race, ethnicity, social and economic class, or gender.
This report is a call to action both at home and abroad.
Access to safe, affordable, sufficient water for daily human needs is a human right. We need to help ensure that all levels of government in the United States give priority to water for personal and domestic use at home. The U.S. response in Geneva — pledging to take action on the report — commits the administration to reducing the number of people who lack access to safe and clean drinking water and proper sanitation, a position that we applaud.
Want to learn more and get involved?
- Sign a petition to the U.S. State Department in support of the report.
- Watch video of de Albuquerque talking about her mission to the United States.
- Watch video of de Albuquerque's testimony in Geneva.
- Watch video of the U.S. response.
- Read UUSC's press release on de Albuequerque's mission, report, and recommendations.
- Read the full report.
- Find out more about de Albuquerque.