Practitioners Guide: Human Rights-Based Approach to Water in Informal Settlements

The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR)

This GI-ESCR Practitioners Guide on the Human Rights-Based Approach to Water in Informal Settlements is aimed at strengthening the capacity of human rights advocates and development practitioners to advance rights globally. A human rights-based approach to water can provide a tool for practitioners and activists to improve communities’ access to water. This approach differs from a needs-based approach by highlighting human rights principles and carrying legal weight that holds duty-bearers responsible for meeting their obligations under human rights law.

The purpose of this publication  is to provide an analysis of how to best incorporate the human right to water in the context of development. The Guide also includes several case studies and provide lessons learned on how to better incorporate the right to water into human rights-based development. Case studies from Kenya, Brazil and Bangladesh focus on the challenges of making the human right to water a reality in informal settlements. They demonstrate that there are common obstacles pertaining to technical, situational, socio-cultural and legal dimensions. The case studies also demonstrate the uses and advantages of the human rights-based approach, and highlight challenges and successes related to implementing such an approach to access to water in informal settlements.

View the complete publication here.