Water and Human Rights: Exploring the Roles and Responsibilities of Business (2009)

By CEO Water Mandate, Institute for Human Rights and Business
Published on February 27, 2009

Tool Type

Article
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Primary Functions:
  • Understanding early underpinnings of the Mandate’s guidance on respecting the human rights to water and sanitation
The authors of this paper take the position that access to water is a human right, and explores what it would mean to apply to water the human rights framework developed by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie. In particular, the paper posits what would it mean to adhere to Ruggie’s “corporate responsibility to respect” principle in the context of access to water and what preventive and proactive due diligence measures businesses have to take to ensure that they meet the responsibility to respect. The discussion paper concludes with a broader assessment of what taking a rights-based approach to water would mean in practical terms for businesses.

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