Elevating water rights to human rights: World Water Day

Date: 22 March 2021
Time: 15:00-16:00
Venue: Zoom

#World Water Day 2021

How does the recognition of the right to water as a human right actually make a difference to the lives of people who lack adequate access to water and sanitation? In 2010, a United Nations General Assembly resolution recognized the right to safe and clean drinking water as a human right. In a decade since this recognition, how did the right to water – in international law and in national legal systems, and as a norm, a moral force, and mobilization strategy – play out for those it was meant to help?

On World Water Day, we will discuss the global experience of making the right to water at sites of contestation, by the water governance paradigm, and by constitutional reforms and judicial recognitions. This discussion draws on ongoing work from the LawTransform research project “Elevating water rights to human rights: Has it strengthened marginalized peoples’ claim for water“.

Jackie Dugard (CMI/University of the Witwatersrand), Namita Wahi (Centre for Policy Research, Delhi), Rebecca Schiel (University of Central Florida) and Angela M Páez Murcia (Tennessee State University) in conversation with Arkaja Singh (Centre for Policy Research, Delhi).

Arkaja Singh is a Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and a part of the State Capacity Initiative at CPR, where she is responsible for developing a new programme of research on state capacity in Indian cities. Her areas of interest include municipal government, informal settlements, land, water and sanitation (and especially the issues around sanitation labour and manual scavenging), and the interface of law and the Indian administrative state.

Jackie Dugard is an associate professor in the School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and a Associated Senior Researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute. With a background in social sciences and law, Jackie is a human rights activist and scholar, and has published widely on the role of law and courts in social change, as well as on socio-economic rights, access to courts, protest and social movements.

Namita Wahi is a Fellow at Centre for Policy Research, and Founding Director of the Land Rights Initiative, a pioneering initiative in the land policy space in India. Namita is also a Visiting Fellow at the Centre on Law and Social Transformation where she has collaborated with the Centre on many international research projects on the scope and limitations of judicial enforcement of health, land and water rights.

Rebecca Schiel is a Postdoctoral researcher with the University of Central Florida and the Chr. Michelsen Institute. Rebecca received Ph.D. from the University of Central Florida in December 2018. Her research interests include comparative politics, coups d’état, mutinies, democratization, political development, and human rights.

Angela M Páez Murcia is an Assistant professor at the Department of Public Administration, Tennessee State University. Angela received Ph.D. in Public Administration by the University of Kansas. Fulbright Scholar (2009-2011). Research interests: courts and public administration in Latin America, collective litigation, sociolegal studies.