Monitoring the human rights to water and sanitation: an analysis of policy in Pacific island countries

  • Jeremy Kohlitz, Joanne Chong, Juliet Willetts
  • Water Policy, May 2016, IWA Publishing
  • DOI: 10.2166/wp.2016.007

What is it about?

Clean water and safe sanitation are internationally recognized as human rights. National governments are obligated to progressively realize these rights for citizens and demonstrate that progress is being made. This paper analyzes the national water and sanitation policies of 13 Pacific island countries to determine if and to what extent they support monitoring the normative content of the human rights to water and sanitation. We find the policies generally focus on the availability of infrastructure and protection of environmental resources, with little attention to other dimensions of the human rights.

Why is it important?

This paper illustrates that water and sanitation access are generally viewed in a one-dimensional way by governments in Pacific island countries. Without more attention to other dimensions, water and sanitation access in the Pacific risks becoming unsustainable, or may fail to achieve the benefits associated with good access. The strong focus on environmental resources over quality of services is reflective of donor interests in the area.

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The following have contributed to this page: Mr Jeremy P Kohlitz