Church of Sweden

"On the right track” for the right to water

Press release   •   Mar 21, 2012 09:47 GMT

The Church of Sweden has contributed to the recently published book "On the Right Track" examples of good practices in the work to implement the right to water. Photo: Magnus Aronson (the picture shows Jamal, aged 12, in Gaza City).

On the United Nations' World Water Day on 22 March, the work of the churches to implement the right to water is recognised in a brand new book, "On the Right Track", by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. The Church of Sweden has contributed examples of good practices in its work within the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) and the ACT Alliance.

The book "On the Right Track" is based on contributions from a broad group of stakeholders. The Ecumenical Water Network (an organisation addressing water issues which comes under the World Council of Churches) and the ACT Alliance, of which the Church of Sweden is a member, asked their partners working in the area of development, relief, mission and advocacy to submit examples of good practices.

"There was a huge response, and out of the ten examples of good practices submitted by churches and church-related organisations to the Special Rapporteur there are now six of these which are included in the book. It feels really good that the work of the churches is recognised and made visible in this way," says Åsa Elfström, the Church of Sweden's Policy and Advocacy Adviser on Water and Development.

According to the Special Rapporteur, Catarina de Albuquerque, the book demonstrates to governments and other stakeholders that the right to water and sanitation can be made tangible; that these rights are not just wishful thinking but also have the potential to be realised. "While the rights to water and sanitation are relatively new on the international agenda and have only recently been recognised officially, activities that aim at their implementation are not new," she says. "There is a host of good practices - sometimes not explicit in relation to the human rights dimension, but overall contributing to the realisation of the right to water."

The various practices described in the book illustrate the different legal and policy aspects of the right to water and sanitation as well as the mechanisms for its implementation and the need for accountability.

Contact: Åsa Elfström, tel. +46 (0)70-547 46 25.

Further reading:
About the book "On the Right Track"
The book "On the Right Track" (as a pdf)
The Ecumenical Water Network
The ACT Alliance