The Right to Safe Drinking Water in International Law and in Slovenia’s legal framework and implementation

Keywords: right to safe drinking water, international law, Slovenia's legislation, Constitution of the Republic of Slovenia, UN General Assembly Resolution on the human right to water and sanitation, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation


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.


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