The Workshop on Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation - Challenges, good practices and lessons learned - was held on 4 and 5 July 2011 in Geneva. The workshop was organized under the leadership of the Government of France, with the support of the UNECE secretariat of the Protocol on Water and Health, and in cooperation with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.
The workshop brought together countries and other stakeholders engaged in the provision of water and sanitation services, who:
- Analysed the specific challenges and debated the political, economic and practical implications of equitable access to water and sanitation;
- Exchanged practical experience on the policies and measures to be enacted to provide access to water and sanitation to vulnerable and marginalized groups, to reduce geographical disparities in access and to address affordability issues;
- Identified good practices, success factors and lessons learned;
- Discussed how to support Governments in complying with the requirements of article 5 of the Protocol on Water and Health as regards promoting equitable access to water and sanitation, as well as their obligations under international human rights law.
The workshop discussed the draft document on “Good practices to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation” that had been prepared by a drafting group of experts under the leadership of France. The document aimed to provide policymakers and other actors, at national and local level, with guidance on how to fulfil their commitments to ensure equitable access to water and sanitation. The intention was that, by providing examples of how different countries have attempted to reduce inequities in access to water and sanitation services, policymakers would find inspiration to try similar or innovative measures.
The workshop was the second one organized on this theme in the framework of the Protocol on Water and Health. It built on the results of the 2007 workshop and illustrated recent developments in this area. Information on the first workshop, “Equitable access to water” (Paris, 5–6 July 2007) can be found here.