The latest mapping for resilience to major events such as pandemics and climate disasters has been conducted with the support of Northeastern University in Boston. It looks at the law and policy that is integrated into the Navajo Nation governance framework and compares it to the standards that are expressed in the international human rights law for the human rights to water and sanitation (HRWS). As expected, the HRWS is very relevant in times of emergency, so the ability to plan ahead with strong governance systems in place is crucial for the protection, respect and fulfilment of the human rights to drinking water and sanitation, and the access, affordability, availability, quality and acceptability of these services.

As summarised in this analysis, with the robust research and references that sit behind it, Keely Lovato, law student class of 2023, has highlighted the areas where these laws are well represented in Navajo law, and the areas for improvement. It serves as a useful reference for any researcher, legal practioner, or stakeholder that is interested in understanding the current situation.

Please bear in mind that this is not an expression of compliance, and it reflects only the laws and policies that have been integrated. In other words, the practical solutions on the ground may differ from the representation in law.

The methodology is one that has been developed by Human Right 2 Water during the pandemic as a way of assessing how countries are able to deal with the crisis, and as a reference point to deliver recommendations for improvement.

Our thanks for Keely Lovato, her professors, and the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources for completing this robust analysis.

Please download the full report here.