Leave No One Behind in WASH series

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The Leave No One Behind in WASH series aims at fostering the discussion on policies, best practices, methodologies and investments needed to adopt human rights-based approaches to WASH policy-making, planning and programming for the realization of SDG 6 and the reduction of intersecting social and economic inequalities affecting those furthest behind. It also aims at promoting the integration of WASH dimensions in the policies and programmes of other interrelated development sectors.

The series included three consultations organized in New York, USA (October 2019), Rishikesh, India (December 2019) and Geneva, Switzerland (March 2020).

WSSCC OHCHR Roundtable, Switzerland: The Roundtable on Interdependencies between water, sanitation and other human rights: strengthening States accountability through HRC/ VNR to LNOB in SDG 6 report contains the recommendations made by other UN human rights bodies, Permanent Missions of States, UN organizations in Geneva, trade unions, NGOs representing vulnerable groups and academic institutions to:

  • Strengthen cross-sectoral approaches taking into account the interdependencies and mutual impacts between the human rights to water and sanitation, and sanitation and hygiene in particular, with other human rights (right to food), especially for specific left behind individuals and groups, with a view to accelerating progress to leave no one behind in SDG 6 and interrelated SDGs at the country level; and
  • identify challenges and recommendations for strengthening coherence between Geneva (HRC) and New York (HLPF) processes, geographic processes (WHI/UNECE Protocol on Water and Health) and sectoral monitoring and reporting systems (JMP/GLAAS, SWA), to promote mutual accountability for leaving no one behind in SDG 6 and the equitable enjoyment of the human rights to water and sanitation.

Read the report in English. French to follow.


Leave no one Behind Consultation, India: The Leave No One Behind consultations on the contribution of the Swachh Bharat Mission towards achieving SDG 6 was an opportunity to hear the voice of 14 vulnerable population groups and foster the inclusion of equality and non-discrimination and gender dimensions in the Voluntary National Review (VNR) national report. The consultation was held during the LNOB Summit held by GIWA - Global Interfaith WASH Alliance and the Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA).

Between 2014 and 2019, India has undertaken the greatest collective behavior change campaign and toilet building exercise in human history: the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). More than 100 million toilets were built to make the country Open Defecation Free (ODF). As a result, 98.6% of Indian households have toilets now, as opposed to 38.7% in 2014. The Government of India has now engaged in the ODF+ phase where attention is placed on those who, despite progress, still cannot access adequate WASH services, and on sustainability. The goal of the consultations was therefore to consult with marginalized groups about the specific impacts of the SBM on these groups’ access to WASH. The report, containing key findings and recommendations, was shared with the UN Team in India as input in the national report of India for the 2020 HLPF Voluntary National Review of SDG 6, (New York, 13 – 16 July 2020).

Watch the summary and download the Report in English or French :


 WSSCC and OHCHR Roundtable, USA: Organized in partnership with OHCHR, the roundtable format discussed the interdependencies between the human rights to water and sanitation and other human rights focusing on leaving no one behind and mutual states’ accountability.  The report provides recommendations made by OHCHR, UN human rights bodies, NGOs representing vulnerable groups, Permanent Missions of States, trade unions as well as from academia. The report contains the recommendations made by OHCHR, UN human rights experts and CSOs networks representing vulnerable groups in UN processes in New York, on practical ways to:

  • Engage in-country with the furthest behind to include them in WASH and other related essential services (particularly education) and reduce inequalities, ensuring societal support and mutual accountability; and
  • ensure that those most affected by lack of or inadequate sanitation and hygiene are meaningfully represented in policy and decision-making at national, regional and global levels, by implementing the UN SDG guidance on leaving no one behind for UN country teams.

These recommendations informed the development of the 2020 WSSCC LNOB programme, implemented in partnership with OHCHR.

Watch the summary and download the Report in English or French: