“Corruption violates the core human rights principles of transparency, accountability, non-discrimination, and meaningful participation in every aspect of the community. Conversely, these principles, when upheld and implemented, are the most effective means to fight corruption.”
-Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in 2013
Gearing up for the 10th anniversary of the General Assembly resolution 64/292, recognizing human rights to water and sanitation
Efforts to combat corruption and realize human rights are always mutually reinforcing: both are necessary. This means that this year’s 10th anniversary of the General Assembly resolution 64/292, recognizing human rights to water and sanitation is also a milestone in promoting integrity for the sector.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr Leo Heller, has launched a campaign to celebrate the anniversary. He is making his most important reports accessible and different resources available, focusing on a specific theme each month. His first post is a straightforward reminder on monitoring and assessments of the water sector with a human rights lens, to be paired with a report on different types of water supply service.
It’s interesting to think about what this might mean for stakeholders who are not the usual suspects. There is value to combining the corruption and human rights frameworks for action, also for companies and service providers. On this, this post over on the FCPA blog makes the case for how anti-corruption and human rights efforts will converge in 2020.
A climate adaptation, human rights, integrity nexus
This year’s focus will also be on climate change for many stakeholders. Taking a human rights lens to this issue is crucial to better target climate adaptation efforts. Taking an integrity lens is also key as corruption is both a driver and form of human rights violations. IUCN published an important report that brings this to the fore very clearly with a focus on gender and gender-based violence in relation to climate change and environmental degradation. The report shows how the climate crisis is leading to increased violence against women and has a specific section on sextortion only for land, although conclusions have broad implications.
Challenges of networks of anti-corruption authorities
This overview by U4 of challenges and achievements of different network organizations operating in the anti-corruption space provides insight on lesser known anti-corruption actors and the value and challenges of working as a network. Food for thought for all anti-corruption practitioners and networks in particular!
Taking accountability seriously: governments, please pay your bills!
In a post on IRCWASH, Regina Rossmann of GIZ, discusses utility debt and the under-the-radar issue of government not paying their own utility bills. This issue of unpaid bills shows accountability is a two-way street. When a utility is starved of resources it cannot improve services for its customers and deliver on its promises. When we push utilities to be more accountable towards their users and government, we must also hold government accountable to support utilities, and perhaps start by just paying their own water bills?
Please don’t hesitate to share your views in the comments or get in touch to share information and material for the next round-up. Thank you!
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