The Right to Water in the Case-Law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Barra lateral del artículo
Contenido principal del artículo
The human right to water is nowadays more broadly recognised, mainly due to the essential societal function that this resource plays; likewise, because of the present water scarcity is generating conflicts between its different uses. Thus, this right aims at protecting human beings by guaranteeing access to clean water that is essential to satisfy vital human needs. Similarly, access to clean water is an important element to guarantee other rights including the right to life and health. The recognition of the right to water is mainly achieved in two ways: as a new and independent right and as a subordinate or derivative right. Concerning the latter, the right to water can emanate from civil and political rights, such as the right to life; or can be derived from economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to health, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to housing. This contribution explores the position of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights regarding the right to water, and analyses whether the Court has recognised the right to water and, if so, in which manner.
Jimena Murillo Chávarro, Ghent UniversityPhD candidate at the Department of Public International Law, at Ghent University(Belgium). Postal address: University of Ghent, Department of Public International Law,Universiteitstraat 4 9000 Gent, Belgium. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
American Convention on Human Rights.
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment 6 (1995) the economic, social and cultural rights of older persons.
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment 15 (2002), the right to water (Articles 11 and 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights).
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 2nd General Report [Cpt/Inf (92) 3].
European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment, 12th General Report [cpt/Inf (2002) 15].
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, “Indigenous and Tribal
Peoples’ Rights over their Ancestral Lands and Natural Resources”, oea/Ser.L/V/II. Doc 56/09.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, “Annual Report of the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights 2010”, Organization of American States and Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
African Commission, Centre for Minority Rights Development (Kenya) and MinorityRights Group (on behalf of Endorois Welfare Council) v Kenya, 11-25 November 2009, Communication 276/03.
African Commission, Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa v Angola, 7-22 May 2008, Communication 292/04.
European Court of Human Rights, Iacov Stanciu v Romania, App no 35972/05, 24 July 2012.
Inter-American Court on Human Rights, Indigenous Community Sawhoyamaxa v Paraguay, Judgment of March 29, 2006. Inter-American Court on Human Rights, Indigenous Community Yakye Axa v Paraguay, Judgment of June 17, 2005.
Inter-American Court on Human Rights, Indigenous Community Xákmok Kásek v Paraguay, Judgment of August 24, 2010.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, López Álvarez v Honduras, Judgment of February 1, 2006.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Vélez Loor v Panama, Judgment of November 23, 2010.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Order of the Inter-American Court of Human rights, Sawhoyamaxa Indigenous Community v Paraguay (Monitoring Compliance with judgment) 8 February 2008.
Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Order of the Inter-American Court of Human rights, Yakye Axa Indigenous Community v Paraguay (Monitoring Compliance with judgment) 8 February 2008.
Brown Weis, E., The evolution of international water Law in 331 Recueil Des Course: Collected Courses of the Hague Academy of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Leiden, 2009.
Murray, R., Human Rights in Africa, From the oau to the African Union, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2004.
Winkler, I. T., The Human Right to Water: Significance, Legal Status and Implications for Water Allocation, Hart Publishing, Oxford, 2012.
Articles in Journals
Bruins, H. J., “Proactive Contingency planning vis-a-vis Declining Water Security in the 21st Century”, Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 2000, 8 ( 2).
Bulto, T. S., ‘The Human Right to Water in the Corpus and Jurisprudence of the African Human Rights System’, African Human Rights Law Journal, 2011, 11 (2).
Gleick, P. H., “Basic Water requirements for Human Activities: Meeting Basic Needs”, Water International, 1996, 21.
McCaffrey, S. C., “A human right to water: domestic and international implications”, The Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, 1992.
Council of Europe, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. http://www.cpt.coe.int/en/about.htm, accessed on 14 April 2012
Howard, G. and Bartram, J., “Domestic Water Quantity, Service Level and Health”. World Health Organization, (who/sde/wsh/03.02), inhttp://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/diseases/wsh0302/en/index.html, 2003, accessed on 10 May 2012.
World Bank, Data, Improved water source (% of population with access), at http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.H2O.SAFE.ZS. accessed on 30 September 2012.
World Health Organization and UNICEF, “Drinking Water: Equity, safety and sustainability”. unicef and World Health Organization, in http://www.wssinfo.org/fileadmin/user_upload/resources/report_wash_low, accessed on 5 October 2012.
World Health Organization and UNICEF. “Progress on Sanitation and Drinking-Water: 201 update”. World Health Organization and unicef, in http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241563956_eng_full_text.pdf, 2010, accessed on 27 October 2012.
World Health Organization. Water Sanitation and Health (wsh). Facts and Figures on Water Quality and Health, in http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/facts_figures/en/index.html, accessed on 27 September 2011.
World Water Assessment Programme, “Statistics Water Use”, UN-water, in http://www.unwater.org/statistics_use.html, accessed on 13 April 2013.
Detalles del artículo
Los autores conservan los derechos de autor y garantizan a la revista el derecho de ser la primera publicación del trabajo al igual que licenciado bajo una Creative Commons Attribution License que permite a otros compartir el trabajo con un reconocimiento de la autoría del trabajo y la publicación inicial en esta revista.