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One Health Sweden: The right to safe water and sanitation

The third session of the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health hosted by the Norwegian government in Oslo at the end of 2013 dealt with issues ranging from equitable access to drinking water and sanitation to safe drinking water and the reduction of water-related disease and humus related disease.

Ministers, country representatives, civil servants, diplomats, experts, UN officials and NGOs active in the pan-European region participated in the event which was organised by UNECE and the WHO regional office for Europe.

The Protocol on Water and Health provides a framework for the human right to water and sanitation (recognised in 2010) to be put into practice in the pan-European region. This requires that water and sanitation services are available, accessible, safe, acceptable and affordable for all without discrimination.

Targeted and smart solutions are needed at international, national and local levels. An Atlas on Water and Health is just one of the activities under the Protocol. NGOs have gathered practical information and experience on water management at local levels and their capacity to mobilise people is crucial in this work.

There are many challenges and great disparities between regions and in some countries so the importance of public participation cannot be stressed enough. A guide by HEAL member Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) on public participation under the Protocol on Water and Health should be a useful tool for this work. NGOs present including One Health Sweden express their support for this work on public awareness in a national context and hope to contribute to data collection in the wide topic of water safety and sanitation.

More information is available here.

Photo from One Health Sweden website

Originally posted on 6 February 2014

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