Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 833–848

Translating the Human Right to Water and Sanitation into Public Policy Reform

  • Benjamin Mason Meier
  • Georgia Lyn Kayser
  • Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum
  • Urooj Quezon Amjad
  • Fernanda Dalcanale
  • Jamie Bartram
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11948-013-9504-x

Cite this article as:
Meier, B.M., Kayser, G.L., Kestenbaum, J.G. et al. Sci Eng Ethics (2014) 20: 833. doi:10.1007/s11948-013-9504-x

Abstract

The development of a human right to water and sanitation under international law has created an imperative to implement human rights in water and sanitation policy. Through forty-three interviews with informants in international institutions, national governments, and non-governmental organizations, this research examines interpretations of this new human right in global governance, national policy, and local practice. Exploring obstacles to the implementation of rights-based water and sanitation policy, the authors analyze the limitations of translating international human rights into local water and sanitation practice, concluding that system operators, utilities, and management boards remain largely unaffected by the changing public policy landscape for human rights realization. To understand the relevance of human rights standards to water and sanitation practitioners, this article frames a research agenda to ensure that human rights aspirations lead to public policy reforms and public health outcomes.

Keywords

Human rights Water and sanitation International law Public policy Water governance Public health 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Mason Meier
    • 1
  • Georgia Lyn Kayser
    • 5
  • Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum
    • 3
  • Urooj Quezon Amjad
    • 4
  • Fernanda Dalcanale
    • 2
  • Jamie Bartram
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.The Water Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, The Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Human Rights and Genocide Clinic, Cardozo Law SchoolYeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.The Water Institute, and Global Research InstituteUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.Department of Public Policy and The Water Institute, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, The Gillings School of Global Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

Personalised recommendations