Through research, publications, and dialogue among practitioners and academics, the Carr Center's Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program seeks to provide critical guidance on how the human rights to water and sanitation can influence law and policy. Nearly one billion people lack access to drinking water, nearly 2.6 billion people lack access to sanitation, and nearly 1.6 million people die every year from preventable water and sanitation-related diseases. In 2010, the UN General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council recognized a human right to water and sanitation, which means that everyone, without discrimination, should have access to adequate amounts of safe, accessible, affordable, acceptable water and sanitation. Understanding how to translate this mandate into practical policy mechanisms requires wrestling not only with matters of science, technology and management, but also with fundamental legal, political and moral questions. In 2010, the Carr Center created the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program to examine these critically important issues.       Read More >
Printable Program Overview (PDF)
   

Contact Us:
If you are interested in learning more about the Carr Center's Right to Water Program, please contact Sharmila Murthy or Mark Williams, both fellows at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Water in the News

Right to Water and Sanitation Program August 6: The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation team from the Carr Center participated in a workshop organized by Harvard for K-12 teachers on Teaching Water: Global Perspectives on a Resource in Crisis. As part of a day focused on "Who Controls the Water? Water security and development," Fatima Mendikulova gave a talk on "Water and International Security in Central Asia." During a day focused on "Access to Water as a Human Right," Sharmila Murthy discussed "Who has access to water and what are the consequences?" and Mark Williams spoke on "Access to Safe Water in Ghana."
Sharmila Murthy June 26: Sharmila Murthy delivered a lecture on the "Key Principles of International Water Law" at the Water Diplomacy Workshop. An event jointly organized by Professors Shafiqul Islam of Tufts and Lawrence Susskind of MIT.
Sharmila Murthy June 14: Sharmila Murthy spoke at the World Bank's Community of Practice on Land in India seminar series in New Delhi on "Land Security and Water and Sanitation Rights in Mumbai Slums." Lead Urban Specialist Barjor Mehta moderated the talk, and Urban Specialist Augustin Maria served as the discussant. The talk was organized by Senior Social Development Specialist Shankar Narayanan and Vikram Raghavan of the Legal Vice-Presidency of the World Bank.
Sharmila Murthy May 30: Sharmila Murthy presented at the conference "Realizing the Goal of Water for Life: Lessons from Around the World," held at the National Law University of Delhi, India, and jointly organized with Lewis & Clark Law School. The talk was titled "Re-Examining Water and Ethnic Conflict in Central Asia through the Water Diplomacy Framework," and was based on an article in progress, co-authored with Fatima Mendikulova, also of the Carr Center.

Watch this event on video! >

Book: Water Governance May 29: The recently published book "Water Governance: An Evaluation of Alternative Architectures" contains a chapter that Sharmila Murthy co-authored with STPP Associate Arani Kajenthira on "Urban Water Challenges in the MENA Region: Integrating Islamic Principles with Demand Management Strategies."

More on co-author Arani Kajenthira >

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The Carr Center Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program is hosting an all-new study group series this academic year. 

Spring '13 Study Group Schedule

~ March 2013 ~
Tuesday,
Mar. 5
4:00 PM
Ana Paula de Barcellos presents "Sanitation in Brazil: Can Courts play a role in fostering access to sewage treatment systems in poor communities?"

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Thursday,
Mar. 7
4:00 PM
Lawrence Susskind presents "Involving Civil Society in Water Management Decisions in Times of Great Uncertainty"

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Thursday,
Mar. 28
4:00 PM
Olivier Donat Andriamahefaparany presents "Madagascar: Water and Sanitation Issues on an Island Country"

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more >

~ April 2013 ~
Thursday,
Apr. 18
4:00 PM
Rishi Rattan, MD presents "Using advocacy to translate technical expertise into tangible change: the UN, cholera, and the drinking water crisis in Haiti."

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more >

~ May 2013 ~
Thursday,
May. 2
4:00 PM
Annette Huber-Lee and Nidal al-Azraq present "Water and the Wall: Contrasts in Access between Israel and Palestine"

more >

| Go to Study Group home page |