2011 News & Comment

  • Note: The entries below are links. Clicking on their text will bring you to more information about that news entry.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program November 7: The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program held a joint event with the Gender and Security Seminar Series at the Carr Center entitled "Water and Sanitation for Women's Security." Carr Center Fellows Sharmila Murthy and Mark Williams explained how lack of access to clean, safe and affordable water and sanitation services disproportionately affects women and girls. Each day, women and girls collectively spend more than 200 million hours on transporting water, which reduces their opportunities for education and economic advancement. Lack of access to sanitation and hygiene services at schools is a further hurdle that discourages girls from attending school. In addition, women and girls are vulnerable to physical or sexual attacks while traveling long distances to collect water or when relieving themselves when sanitation facilities are not available. This session examined how the newly recognized human rights to water and sanitation can be used as a tool to address these gender inequities.
Sharmila Murthy October 25: The Harvard Gazette, Carr Center Fellow Sharmila Murthy and the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program are prominently featured in an article exploring the many ways people all around Harvard are working to make the most of water.
Catarina de Albuquerque October 24: The Carr Center's Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program convened a highly successful meeting with Catarina de Albuquerque, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and a select group of scholars and practitioners, which explored research ideas for fostering the progressive realization of the human rights to water and sanitation. Video Available

Read the complete meeting report >

Right to Water and Sanitation Program October 18: The Carr Center hosted a study group with Daniele Lantagne and Sharmila Murthy to explore the relationship between the human rights to water and sanitation and MDG Target 7c, which seeks to “halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation.” The session first explored critiques of the current indicators from a human rights perspective. It then used a case study on water quality measuring tools to highlight the challenges of developing better indicators. In the last part of the session, the study group participants were provided with copies of sample surveys used by the Joint Monitoring Program (i.e. MICS and DHS) and asked to propose new indicators that would encompass human rights norms, but also be practically feasible to implement.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program September 27: The Carr Center hosted a study group meeting with Julia Tierney to examine Sao Paolo's remarkable progress in improving access to water and sanitation services in informal settlements. Although challenges remain, several factors were critical to this success: community pressure from below; political will from the top, including a commitment to achieving universal coverage; and technical, institutional and legal innovations within SABESP, the Sao Paulo state water company.
UN Seal September 16: The Carr Center Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program team participated in the International Water Forum at the United Nations in September. This international conference sought to build bridges between government, private sector, academia and non-governmental organizations to increase public awareness, develop educational campaigns and create effective solutions for the emerging water crisis.
Presenter, Patricia Jones at the Carr Center September 13: The Carr Center Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Program hosted an informative and well attended discussion led by Dr. Patricia Jones of UUSC and Julian Barriga of the Federation of Neighborhood Organizations ("FEJUVE") discussing the water issues confronting the cities of La Paz and El Alto, Bolivia.
Right to Water and Sanitation Program August 21: Carr Center Fellows Sharmila Murthy and Mark Williams attend World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.

See Sharmila interviewed at WWW-Sweeden >

Right to Water and Sanitation Program February 25: The UN Independent Expert on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation, Dr. Catarina de Albuquerque, visited Boston. Albuquerque heard testimony from community members living in the greater Boston area regarding problems with their water and sanitation services.