Economic, social and cultural rights

Human Rights and Water

The Commission has released Human Rights and Water at a time when water is being described as “the new oil”. Access to water and sanitation is an inalienable human right, without it human life cannot be sustained.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council explicitly recognised the human right to water. In response to this, the Human Rights Commission prepared this paper to promote the human rights implications of water in Aotearoa at a time when the supply of water, access to it, and its quality are matters of national interest.

Feedback received from the draft consultation paper has helped to inform the final paper. Issues raised include;  who “owns” it, how it should be allocated and used, who should supply it, its cost and quality, and how it should be regulated.

Read the Commission's report: Human Rights and Water (PDF)