World Toilet Day

The 19th of November is World Toilet Day, established by the UN General Assembly with the aim of prioritizing sanitation in national development agendas. On this day Member States are encouraged to develop and implement policies focused on increasing equitable access to water and sanitation services and to work diligently towards ending open defecation.

According to the United Nations, more than 4.2 billion people do not have access to clean water and sanitation services. Moreover, it is estimated that 1,000 children under five die from diarrhoeal diseases every day as a direct cause of contaminated water.

Hence, in accordance with the theme this year “Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change”, it is vital to recognize the necessity of sustainable sanitation in protecting public health, which is particularly relevant as the world continues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Considering the rising inequalities, populations living in lesser developed countries, refugees camps and overcrowded communities are the most vulnerable during this global health crisis due to the lack of access to water, hygiene and sanitation.

The Geneva Institute for Human Rights, in its relentless endeavor to create a healthy, sustainable and safe society, commends the great progress made in facilitating access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities in many regions around the world with the kind contribution of humanitarian organizations.

Nonetheless, much work remains to ensure the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for global development. Within that context, the Institute stresses on the necessity for collective action and hence calls on all states, governmental and nongovernmental organizations to promote health education and encourage a culture of safe waste disposal and sustainable sanitation.

The Geneva Institute for Human Rights urges the international community to unify efforts in ensuring a safe supply of water and adequate and equitable access to sanitation facilities for all. The promotion of human health and the realization of the human right to water and sanitation are key factors in ensuring sustainable development and breaking the cycle of disease.