Declaration evidence



Constitution of Kenya, 2010

Articles 43(1) (b) and 42 of the Constitution of Kenya therefore guarantee the right of every person to “reasonable standards of sanitation”; and “a clean and healthy environment” respectively. Article 46 (1) (c) provides consumers with the right to the protection of their health and safety. To fulfill these rights, Article 21 of the Constitution vests in the State the duty to undertake necessary legislative, policy and other measures including setting of standards. Further, in the context of the Constitution, the County Governments have the primary responsibility for delivery of sanitation services with related responsibilities for legislation. Article 185(2) of the Constitution thus provides that a county assembly may make any laws that are necessary for or incidental to, the effective performance of the functions and exercise of the powers of the county government under the Fourth Schedule. These include among other things:
(a) Primary health care;
(b) Waste management including refuse removal, refuse dumps and solid waste disposal;
(c) Licensing and control of undertakings that sell food to the public;
(d) Cemeteries, funeral parlours and crematoria;
(e) Storm water management system in built up area;
(f ) Water and sanitation services;
(g) County abattoirs;
(h) Control of air pollution, noise pollution and other public nuisances; and
(i) Burial of animals among others.

Prototype County Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill, Kenya, 2016

The purpose of this Prototype County Environmental Health and Sanitation Bill is to assist and guide County Governments in coming up with the necessary enabling county legislation for the implementation of Articles 43(1)(b) and 42 of the Constitution and to enable county governments to effectively execute the sanitation and environmental health related functions and powers vested in them by the Fourth Schedule to the Constitution. 

Recognition of the Human rights to Water & Sanitation by Member States at the International Level

This publication by Amnesty International and WASH United gathers the evidence of the universal recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation. It gives an overview of the most important resolutions and declarations that recognise the human rights to water and sanitation, including the positions that individual states have taken when those documents were adopted. For 77 countries, it also lists their individual positions and how these have changed over time. The document has previously served as an internal reference guide for Amnesty International and WASH United. They have published it to help others identify the position that their country has taken on the human rights to water and sanitation, to advocate for the rights in their own national contexts, to ensure that these rights will not be ignored in the formulation and implementation of national water and sanitation laws and policy, and to help advance strategic litigation before national, regional and international justice mechanisms.

UN OHCHR Proposed Indicators

The United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (UN OHCHR) in consultation with diverse stakeholders has proposed the following indicators for monitoring the human right to water and sanitation. See attached PDF. For more information on UN OHCHR human rights indicators follow the below link.

HRWS: Comment from Human Rights Campaigner

Hi, I'd like to make this comment in reference to the adequacy of using a country's voting decision for the UN General Resolution as a means to evaluating its right to wat/san obligations. As the recent statement on Detroit by the UN Special Rapporteurs on wat/san and housing explains, the US has obligations to the right to wat/san found in various treaties/conventions. A country's obligations with regard to the right are not based in the UN General Resolution, which brought together pre-existing international law as contained in existing treaties /conventions to recognise the right as a right in and of itself - however, my understanding is that the resolution itself does not constitute international law. Given the below extract from the statement, I think it may be better to list (crucially, alongside national recognition/realisation) relevant international treaties/conventions which explicitly or implicitly include obligations around the right to wat/san, and also whether or not they have been ratified by given states. The US is not a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which I believe would be a key convention for many countries, but as the statement demonstrates it does have commitments through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, United Nations Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "The United States is bound by international human rights law and principles, including the right to life as well as the right to non-discrimination with respect to housing, water and sanitation and the highest attainable standard of health... The United States has ratified the United Nations Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination which explicitly prohibits and calls for the elimination of racial discrimination in relation to several human rights directly affected by water disconnections, including the right to housing and the right to public health... The human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation and to adequate housing both derive from the right to an adequate standard of living which is protected under, inter alia, article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is fully applicable to the United States. In addition, adequate housing and access to safe water are clearly essential to maintain life and health, and the right to life is found in treaties the United States has ratified, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights." Link to full statement on Detroit by the UN Special Rapporteurs below.

UN General Assembly Adopts Right to Water and Sanitation

The following piece of evidence provides details of the proceedings for the General Assembly adoption of the human right to water and sanitation.