The Right to Safe Drinking Water in International Law and in Slovenia’s legal framework and implementation
According to the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, a total of 2.1 billion people globally lack access to safe, readily available water at home. Given the rapid population growth, demand for water has been consistently on the rise, while its available quantity has been decreasing due to its unsustainable use. Despite widespread international support for the recognition of the right to safe drinking water, which was also demonstrated by the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation in 2010, progress achieved at international and national levels reveals significant remaining challenges, including huge inequalities between and within countries in accessing basic water services. In Slovenia, drinking water supply, for which data on water quality are available, is provided to almost 90% of the population, and in 2016, Slovenia amended its Constitution and explicitly included the universal right to drinking water (Article 70a). This article discusses the existence and normative content of the right to safe drinking water, both in international and Slovene legal contexts. Furthermore, it critically accessed the adequacy of legal protection of access to safe drinking water and analysed Slovenia9s obligations in relation to this right. Hence, in addition to looking into the normative content of the right, it also discusses whether the desired effects are already recognizable in practice, particularly focusing on the
situation in Slovenia. The article also includes some de lege ferenda proposals, which competent authorities might wish to consider when further developing a normative framework or concrete policy measures.
Aha i J, Brega M, Gril M, Kobir T, Zupan i S, Sancin V, Pucelj Vidovi T, KovicDine M & Vrbica S et al eds. (2015) Odgovornost države zagotavljati pravico do čiste pitne vode, Pravna fakulteta, Ljubljana.
Bos R, Roaf V, Payen G J, Rousse M, Latorre C & McCleod N et al (2016) Manual on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for Practitioners, IWA Publishing, London. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/9781780407449
Bueno de Mesquita J (2019) The Universal Periodic Review, A Valuable New Procedure for the Right to Health?, Health and Human Rights Journal, 21(2), pp. 263–277.
SR Heller9s statement (2020) 10th anniversary of the recognition of water and sanitation as a human right by the General Assembly, https://www.ohchr.org/en/statements/2020/07/10th-anniversary-recognition-water-and-sanitation-human-right-general-assembly [30.08.2022]
Kranjc V (2004) Commentary to Obligation Code, Book 1, GV Zalo~ba, Ljubljana.
Murthy S (2013) The Human Right(s) to Water and Sanitation: History, Meaning and the Controversy Over Privatization, Berkeley Journal of International Law, 31(1), pp. 89–149.
Nehaluddin A (2020) Human right to water under international law regime: an overview, Commonwealth law bulletin, 46(3), pp. 415–439. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/03050718.2020.1770618
Rodriguez R M (2011) The Right to Water, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/215868528_The_Right_to_Water [30.08.2022]
SancinV & Kovi Dine M (2016) Ensuring access to safe drinking water as an imperative of sustainable development, in: Mauerhofer V, ed., Legal aspects of sustainable development: horizontal and sectorial policy issues, Springer.
Scheuring S (2009) Is There a Right to Water in International Law?, UCL Jurisprudence Review, 15, pp. 147–171.
Sereno A (2022) Human Right to Water and Sanitation: Water for All vs. Full Cost Recovery, Front. Water, 4:885193; doi: https://doi.org/10.3389/frwa.2022.885193
Szwedo P (2021) Climate Change and the Human Right to Water, International Community Law Review, 23(2/3), pp. 209–218.
Ude L (2017) Geneza ustavne pravice do pitne vode, Javna uprava, 1(2), pp. 7–14.