Conflict and Cooperation over Water - The Role of the EU in Ensuring the Realisation of Human Rights

18-06-2015

The human right to water has been firmly established and its implications for policy-making have been discussed in many fields. Thus far, this has hardly been the case for conflicts over water. This study discusses what it means to integrate human rights in the context of governing water and addressing conflicts over water. A human rights perspective on conflicts over water will help formulating equitable water governance strategies. To support such developments, the EU should integrate human rights in policies and other measures to address water conflicts at all levels. The EU’s activities should be guided by the human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality; participation and access to information; accountability and access to justice; and a priority for water uses as far as they are necessary for the realisation of human rights. This relates to internal legislation and policies, development cooperation, engagement in transboundary basins, political dialogues with partner countries, international fora such as the UN Human Rights Council, and the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The European Parliament, specifically, should support such initiatives with resolutions, engagement in UN and inter-parliamentary fora, and enhancement of public awareness.

The human right to water has been firmly established and its implications for policy-making have been discussed in many fields. Thus far, this has hardly been the case for conflicts over water. This study discusses what it means to integrate human rights in the context of governing water and addressing conflicts over water. A human rights perspective on conflicts over water will help formulating equitable water governance strategies. To support such developments, the EU should integrate human rights in policies and other measures to address water conflicts at all levels. The EU’s activities should be guided by the human rights principles of non-discrimination and equality; participation and access to information; accountability and access to justice; and a priority for water uses as far as they are necessary for the realisation of human rights. This relates to internal legislation and policies, development cooperation, engagement in transboundary basins, political dialogues with partner countries, international fora such as the UN Human Rights Council, and the negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The European Parliament, specifically, should support such initiatives with resolutions, engagement in UN and inter-parliamentary fora, and enhancement of public awareness.