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Event Workshop on equitable access to water and sanitation

The workshop on equitable access to water and sanitation will be held in Geneva on 4 and 5 July 2011, in the framework of the UNECE-WHO/Europe Protocol on Water and Health.

With the aim to support the realization of the human right to water and sanitation, the workshop will address inequities in access to water and sanitation that are still widespread in the pan-European region:
- Geographical disparities: in many countries people living in rural or remote areas have significantly lower levels of access to safe water and improved sanitation;
- Affordability constraints: in some countries, people with low incomes often find access to water and sanitation unaffordable; this situation will be exacerbated as countries move towards full cost recovery of water and sanitation services;
- Inequities suffered by vulnerable and marginalized groups, as well as groups with specific needs (such as Roma and Travellers, ethnic minorities, disabled persons, etc.) who face additional barriers to access than those of ordinary citizens. 

It will bring together countries and other stakeholders from the European region engaged in the provision of water and sanitation services, with the aim to:
- Analyse the specific challenges and debate the political, economic and practical implications of equitable access to water and sanitation; 
- Exchange practical experience and share lessons learned on the policies and measures to be enacted to provide access to water and sanitation to vulnerable and marginalized groups, to reduce geographical disparities in access and to address affordability issues;
- Identify good practices, success factors and lessons learned; 
- Support Governments in complying with the requirements of article 5 of the Protocol on Water and Health as regards promoting equitable access to water and sanitation, as well as their obligations under international human rights law.

The workshop is part of the process for the development of a Document on “Good Practices on Equitable Access to Water and Sanitation” prepared under the Protocol on Water and Health for the Sixth World Water Forum (Marseille, March 2012). It is organized under the leadership of the Government of France and in cooperation with the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. 

Contributions are invited by 16 May 2011 to the UNECE secretariat ( on the following topics:
-Experiences with policy measures to promote access by vulnerable and marginalized groups, as well as groups with specific needs, to water and sanitation 
- Experiences with policy measures to address geographical disparities in access to water supply and sanitation
- Experiences with policy measures to address affordability concerns 

Eligible participants from countries with economies in transition may apply for financial support to facilitate their participation in the workshop. Requests for financial support should be submitted to the UNECE secretariat ( as soon as possible, but not later than 16 May 2011No application will be accepted after this deadline. Due to the limited funds available, priority will be given to experts providing inputs to the workshop. 

More information on the workshop will be made available at


Information notice



Registration form



Contact information Francesca Bernardini: Joint UNECE - WHO/EURO Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes UNECE secretariat Palais des Nations CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland / UNECE secretariat (email: ; ;
Phone: +41 22 917 2463 and 1926 Fax: +41 22 917 0107
Event type Seminar
File link
File link copy registration_form_equitable_access_water_and_sanitation.doc (DOC, 64 Kb)
Source UNECE
Geographical coverage Switzerland,
Address Geneva
Organizer UNECE
Target audience International
Period [04/07/2011 - 05/07/2011]
Status Confirmed
Working language(s) ENGLISH