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A Job Well Done

As Catarina de Albuquerque leaves her job as Special Rapporteur on Water and Sanitation, we NGOs who have been working on the issue of Water give her high marks for her time in office. She was a fierce defender of the idea of water as a human right, and (as one UN official said) she made it possible for the UN to talk about “toilets” and certain female bodily functions. In her work she received repeated requests for guidance from States (both national and local), service providers, regulators and others, to clarify what this human right would imply for their work and activities. As a guide for them she completed a great work, “Realizing the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: a Handbook.” A huge document, it is divided into smaller books –Frameworks, Checklists, Sources etc.  You can read it online in four languages (Portuguese is coming later); just put the name of the book in your search engine, and you will find it on the UN Human Rights website.