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Human Right to Water and Sanitation: The Challenge of Implementation

Co-organized by CEDHA and  ECOJURE

Date & Time Slot: 16 Jun 2012, 13:30 – 15:00
Venue (tentative): T-5 (Rio Centro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

ECOJURE:     Alejandro Rossi:;
Tel (+54 911 4417 5890)

CEDHA:   Alejandro Vera:; Tel (+54) 9 3513116956 y Juan Picolotti; Tel (+54) 9 351 642 2654

Description of the Workshop

In 2010 the UN General Assembly recognized access to water and sanitation as a human right. This deepened State commitment to Economic Social and Cultural Rights´ Observation N º 15 establishing the human right to water and sanitation (2002).

Although UN has recently announced advancements of MDG targets on water and sanitation, there are still some 2.6 billion people without access to water and sanitation. Implementation of the right to water and sanitation clearly entails a major challenge.

This side event not only aims to take a snapshot of current legal framework governing the right to water and sanitation, but more specifically to analyze the complex and diverse realities faced by governments in implementing such a significant set of rights. From the budgetary constraints in a world in financial crisis, to the inclusion and participation of non-state actors (such as NGOs, water service companies), short and medium term solutions are needed to ensure universal access and service provision.

Against this background, the question of implementation requires a pragmatic view based on a rights-perspective to understand what actions should be developed by different actors (governments, business, civil society), as well as a careful consideration of the consequences resulting from policy choice and from delays in the full implementation of these rights.

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Efraín Peña Moreno (México), is International Affairs Coordinator of the World League of Environmental Lawyers – LIMAA, Consultant for IDB on issues related to energy efficiency and climate change, Attorney for the Americas of the RAMSAR Convention and Academic Director of the REUNIDA.  In his private practice is the Regional Director for Central America and the Caribbean of the Mexican consulting firm SECJA S.A.


Jorge Daniel Taillant, is founder and Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA). He has worked for organizations such as the World Bank, EU and United Nations. He coordinates CEDHA’s Mining, Environment and Human Rights Program, focusing on improving access to justice in mining conflicts to reduce social and environmental impact of mining, while also assuring more efficient public policy to control and regulate mining.


Cassia Maria Lie Ugaya works as Professor at Federal Technological University of Parana (UTFPR) Dr. in LCA theme, MSc. Energy Planning and Mechanical engineer. She is founder of the Ibero American Life Cycle Network and the Brazilian Life Cycle Association. Member of the International Life Cycle Board of the UNEP and SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. Co-author of Guidelines for Social Life Cycle Assessent and co-editor of Towards Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment, both published by UNEP and SETAC.

Mariana Valls is founder and President of ECOJURE, author of book  “Environmental Law: great environmental problems to be faced by Argentina at the end of the siècle” (1999), co-Editor of specialized journal She has been co-founder of Argentinean Lawyers Network for Environmental Defense (RADA), member of the International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL), Director of Environmental Regulations of Argentina and Coordinator of the Federal Commission of Investigation on Agrochemical Substances.

Alejandro Rossi is an attorney, and has focused his career on environmental management. He served as Secretary General of the Matanza Riachuelo River Basin Authority (ACUMAR), Programme Manager of United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Argentina, and Chief Technical Advisor of UNEP-UNOPS Project for Technical Assistance for Environmental Impact Assessment of mining projects in Peru. Nowadays, he is Executive Director of ECOJURE.


13:30 – 13:40 Introduction – Presentation – Workshop Objectives

13:40 – 13:55 Efrain Peña Moreno (World League of Environmental Lawyers, LIMAA) “The governance of groundwater as a determinant for the human right to water”

13:55 – 14:05  Daniel Taillant (CEDHA) “Human Rights…to glaciers?”.

14:05 – 14:15  Cassia María Lie Ugaya / Ana Quirós (UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative) “Where’s the water?:  Water Life Cycle Assessment in LAC”

14:15 – 14:30  Mariana Valls/Alejandro Rossi (ECOJURE) “Right to water and sanitation: Exploring the frontiers of enforcement”.

14:30 – 15:00 Discussion

Target Audience

Policy makers, community representatives, civil society organizations, corporate actors, interested or concerned with water sector.

Host Organizations:

The Center for Human Rights and Environment (CEDHA) is a non-profit organization, created in 1999, which aims to build a more harmonious relationship between the environment and people. One of its programs, CEDHAs Legal & Legislative Clinic, is a laboratory of public interest litigation and judicial reflection that works real cases of Human Rights violations resulting from environmental degradation or non-sustainable management of natural resources. This Clinic has an active trajectory in the defense and promotion of the human right to water.

ECOJURE is a newly released think tank focused on better addressing technical, institutional and legal approach to sustainable development, accelerating timetables for implementation of MDGs,  promoting successful good practices and contributing for an upgraded social approach to growing vulnerability of the poor.

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16 Jun 2012. Hours: 13:30 to 15:00 hs. (Brazil)

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