On 18 November, one day before World Toilet Day, the UN General Assembly 3rd Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) adopted a resolution on the human rights to water and sanitation referring to the implications of climate change-related impacts on human rights to water and sanitation.
Almost ten years after the UN’s recognition of these rights, 2.2 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services. Further, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.
The UN General Assembly 3rd Committee recognised that consequences of climate change are felt most acutely by populations already in vulnerable situations, and expressed concern that climate change contributes to events that have an adverse effect on human rights to water and sanitation.
The resolution gives prominence to the growing threat that climate change poses to the realisation of water and sanitation services for all, and the need for states to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability.