As a world of individuals, communities and nations we must act together now to restore the justice that’s been eroded by injustices related to water, sanitation and hygiene globally.
Started by the Sanitation and Water for All global partnership, the Justice Begins Here campaign raises awareness that clean water and the ability to live free from the dangers of poor sanitation and hygiene are not privileges: they are fundamental human rights.
Access to water and sanitation provides a strong foundation from which we can effectively tackle the climate emergency and build a future where education, health, economic development and the elimination of poverty can become a reality.
Healthcare is far more than medical care. Water and sanitation are a critical first line of defence and prevention in dealing with health threats, such as COVID-19 and waterborne diseases.
Every day, over 700 children under age 5 die from diarrhoea linked to unsafe water, sanitation and poor hygiene. Universal access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation and hygiene would reduce the global disease burden by 10%.
The pandemic era has exacerbated health injustice. Without safe water, sanitation and hygiene, the world will be forever burdened by the scars of these injustices. Billions of dollars each year are spent on medical care and lost workdays due to the catastrophic health implications of poor water, sanitation and hygiene.Commit to water and sanitation. Know more about what you can do.
Water, sanitation and hygiene secure the gateway to development and education. Education strategies around the world highlight how water, sanitation and hygiene in schools improves access to education and learning outcomes, particularly for girls, by providing a safe, inclusive and equitable learning environment for all.
Almost half of the schools in the world do not have handwashing facilities with soap and water. When our young people are denied access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, their ability to attend school, especially girls, is hugely diminished. This means we cannot educate the next generation and build the foundations for development. We must ensure that young people can exercise their basic human right to education.
Irrefutable evidence indicates that human activities are the primary drivers of climate change, with impacts that are already widespread, rapid, and intensifying. Nowhere is this more evident than in relation to water.
Approximately 74 percent of all-natural disasters between 2001 and 2018 were water-related, requiring urgent action. Forty percent of the global population is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change. More than 270 million children currently live in extremely flood prone areas in countries where less than half the population has access to adequate sanitation facilities.
While climate reports and the media paint a grim picture of the future if we fail to act, they also offer hope. Solutions to the climate crisis are largely known and available, including for climate impacts on the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation.
Water, sanitation, and hygiene are an essential currency in economic development. Loss of productivity to water- and sanitation-related diseases costs many countries up to 5% of GDP. But it’s about more than just cost avoidance, good governance and the ability to boost emerging industries.
It’s about delivering the long-term sustainable infrastructures required to ensure strong health, educational and work opportunities for all.
Access to water, sanitation and hygiene drive strong productivity without inequalities and poverty, and are the keys to unlocking basic human rights. Gains in quality of life include increased school and work attendance, healthier lives, and greater safety – especially for women, children and the elderly.Commit to water and sanitation. Know more about what you can do.
Red de Jóvenes por el Agua Centro América, a youth-led organization, discussed achieving social justice through sanitation at LatinoSan in Bolivia
Former Eng. Martin Mendez y Mendez, Vice Minister of Water, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Guatemala; Ms. Diana Laguna Caicedo, Viceministra de Ambiente, Ministry of the Environment, Panama; Ms. Leslie Samayoa Jerez de Hermosilla, Vice Minister Technical, Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, Guatemala; Ms. Ivette Berrío Aquí, Health Minister in Charge, Panama; and Mr. Oscar Rojas, Vice-Minister of Water, Ministry of Environment, Water and Ecological Transition, Ecuador
LA Times publishes article by SWA CEO Catarina de Albuquerque on access to public toilets by homeless people
Justice Begins Here campaign showcased at COP27 Water Pavilion
SWA launches Justice Begins Here campaign during Stockholm World Water Week
Reliefweb publishes op-ed on sanitation in prisions by SWA CEO Catarina de Albuquerque
Mr. Soumaila Oumar Gadji. Climate Change Director at Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development in Chad, highlights the importance of water and sanitation as part of social justice during on Preparations for COP27 webinar
UNICEF promotes campaign though newsletters and social media
Indigenous rights to water and sanitaiton is the focus of Pagina Sete article by SWA CEO Catarina de Albuquerque
UN Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake, calls on her followers: "Help put pressure on those who have the power to achieve justice "
Water Integrity Network highlight campaign on their social media channels
UN Geneva brings visibility to issues of social injustice brough on be unequal access to water and sanitation.
Habitat for Humanity discusses access to basic services in informal settlements on their social media platforms.
Blogger Alif publishes a spotlight on the Justice Begins Here campaign and adapts toolkit materials to Bahasa language
Human Concern International (HCI), Canada based NGO, joins the #JusticeBeginsHere campaign, to build awareness and raise funds for clean water projects around the world and in Canada to support Indigenous communities in their struggle for access to clean water
Vote for water!" Civil society organizations in Nigeria are calling for politicians to prioritize water, sanitation and hygiene, ahead of elections. Justice Begins Here campaign was the base of Civil Society Charter, demanding for the prioritization of the human rights to water and sanitation in political agenda and to invest in the sector.
Justice Begins Here campaign inspires thematic dialogues at the "All Systems Connect Symposium 2023" hosted by IRC WASH and Water for People.
Under the Justice Begins Here campaign, civil society organizations in Sierra Leone are using the elections to demand political commitments for water, sanitation and hygiene.
SWA and the United Nations Foundation hosted a side event titled "Justice Begins Here - with Accountability", in connection to the UN 2023 Water Conference to emphasize the importance of turning commitments into actions through strong mutual accountability.
Civil society organizations in Sierra Leone are calling for politicians to prioritize water, sanitation and hygiene ahead of elections. Justice Begins Here campaign was the basis for their call to action.
Young Mauritian climate advocate Yuv Sungkur shares insights on climate Justice and why it matters for Mauritius in local media LeMauricien.com
Kumi Naidoo, SWA Global Leadership Council member, Global ambassador, Africans Rising for Justice, Peace and Dignity and Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy
Jayathma Wickramanayake, the Secretary-General's Envoy on Youth
Selin Ozunaldim, Youth Activist and Gender Youth Activist for UN Women Turkey
Nicki Becker, SWA Youth Champion, speaks about gender, climate justice and youth participation
Eric Njuguna, member of the Fridays For Future, speaks on the human rights to water and sanitation
Catarina de Albuquerque, SWA CEO, speaks on the importance of access to water & sanitation
David R. Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment.
Nicole Becker, Climate justice activist from Argentina and SWA Youth Champion.
Jhaquelin Dávalos, Researcher at the Institute for Rural Development in South America
Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Secretary General of the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance based in Rishikesh, India
In an Instagram Live conversation, SWA Youth Champion, Anita Soina shares how young people can mobilize and join the Justice Begins Here campaign to leverage water, sanitation and hygiene worldwide ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference.
As an individual, see how you can join the campaign
As an organisation, see how you can join the campaign
2023 will be a big one for water: the UN 2023 Water Conference (22-24 March), is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to unite the world around achieving universal access to water and sanitation. On World Water Day (22 March), the sector will unite to call on every individual to make a commitment, no matter how small, that will help solve the water crisis.