A Human Rights-Based Approach Practical Guide

On this International World Water Day, Human Right 2 Water is excited to be launching its manual on the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA)– A practical guide for the realisation of the human rights to water and sanitation through programming.

The integration of HRBA in development projects has accelerated over the years and proven to be effective. HRBA is a common framework that seeks to further human rights by incorporating the application of human rights principles in all steps of projects or programming. At the heart of HRBA lies the aspiration to support the capacities of rights-holders to claim their rights and duty-bearers to fulfil their human rights obligations. Emphasis is placed on ensuring action to support the marginalised and vulnerable. As such, the human rights cross-cutting principles of equality and non-discrimination, participation and inclusion, access to information, accountability and sustainability are utilised to guide the entire project management cycle.

In supporting the realisation of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation (HRWS), these principles are employed in conjunction with the normative criteria of the human rights to water and sanitation (availability, accessibility, affordability, quality, acceptability) to strengthen capacities of both rights-holders and duty-bearers and generate sustainable outcomes. This comprehensive approach is particularly important with water and sanitation as many projects tend to concentrate on the quantity (availability) and quality criteria, rather than addressing all components of the HRWS, including such criteria as accessibility (particularly for the persons with disabilities), acceptability (very important to preserve dignity and safety for women and girls) and affordability (making sure that any pricing allows for all people, especially the most vulnerable, to be able to afford safely managed water and sanitation).

This guide is directed to all water and sanitation practitioners, and it seeks to provide a methodology and tools to integrate a Human-Rights based approach (HRBA) in all types of water- and sanitation-related development programmes. Through this manual, development cooperation agencies, civil society, non-governmental organisations, and anyone working in water and sanitation, will be able to find a simplified a set of instructions and a collection of checklists to ensure that the HRBA is being upheld in and throughout their activities.

The Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) Manual can be found here.