On 17 June 2019 the Council adopted conclusions approving EU human rights guidelines on safe drinking water and sanitation.
2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.5 billion people lack safely managed sanitation services in the world. Climate change will increasingly affect water availability and access. Across the globe, tensions and conflicts related to access to and use of water continue to rise as the threat of water scarcity spreads.
The approval of the EU human rights guidelines on safe drinking water and sanitation is one of many steps that the EU is taking to realise its commitment to ensure the progressive realisation of the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for all, as well as its commitment to the human rights defenders fighting for these rights.
Building on existing human rights norms, these guidelines give instructions and guidance on how to use the available EU foreign policy tools, including development cooperation, to promote and protect the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.