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Book Chapter

The Rights to Water and Food. Exploring the Synergies

Published on 6 September 2019

The human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation (HRSDWS) was recognized in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly.

It entitles everyone, without discrimination, to access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable drinking water and to physical and affordable access to sanitation for personal and domestic use and was incorporated in several constitutions and national legal orders.

This chapter explores the relationship between the right to water and the right to adequate food, which was recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966.

The rights to safe drinking water and sanitation and the right to food have close ties, because safe drinking water and sanitation are crucial for health and good nutrition, and because access to water is indispensable for food producers and the right to food of producers.

Nevertheless, in reality, there have been few efforts to create synergies between these crucial rights. This chapter will explore the synergies between these rights as well as competing trade-offs. It argues for a possible expansion of the right to water to incorporate the right to water for meeting individual and household food and nutrition requirements, especially for the poor.

We, thus, urge the UN special rapporteurs on the Right to Food and the Right to Water to focus on achieving synergies between the rights to water and food in order to promote food security and nutrition for the most vulnerable groups.

Cite this publication

Mehta, L. and Langmeier, D (2020) 'The Rights to Water and Food. Exploring the Synergies', in Sultana, F. and Loftuns, A. (eds). Water Politics. Governance, Justice and the Right to Water. Routledge: pp. 68 – 84.

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Authors

Image of Lyla Mehta
Lyla Mehta

Professorial Fellow

Daniel Langmeier

Publication details

language
English

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About this publication

Research themes
Inequalities and Poverty

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