Protection of the Human Right to Water Under International Law - The Need for a New Legal Framework

Jordan Daci
Abstract:
The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses. An adequate amount of safe water is necessary to prevent death from dehydration, to reduce the risk of water-related disease and to provide for consumption, cooking, personal and domestic hygienic requirements. Indeed, the right to water clearly falls within the category of guarantees essential for securing an adequate standard of living, particularly since it is one of the most fundamental conditions for survival. Thus, the human right to life doesn’t have any sense without the right to water and other vital human rights that are a pre-condition for human life. Consequently, the enjoyment of the human right to water is a prerequisite for the enjoyment of other basic human rights such as the right to the highest attainable standard of health and the rights to adequate housing and adequate food etc. Nevertheless, today in this era of quasi irreversible clime changes as well as very extensive increase use of natural fresh water resources, their quantity and quality is significantly decreased. From this perspective, the future of the entire mankind depends mostly in the preservation of world natural water resources. However their preservation requires from mankind a new world approach that would include inter alia the following steps: the adoption of a new international treaty on world environmental protection, the establishment of the World Water Authority under UN that would deal with issues such as the protection, management and use of international waters, ICJ shall be empowered with biding jurisdiction to exanimate inter-state disputes over international watercourses, a new international treaty on Artic shall be adapted at least to address environmental concerns, and finally International Humanitarian Law shall address other environmental protection issues raised by enormous development of weapons destruction power including avoidance of loopholes that allow derogations from these treaties obligations. Certainly, any failure to do so, will undoubtedly lead mankind to future massive wars that shall be mostly fought for water rather than for oil.

Keywords:
Right to water, International Law, Climate Change, Sustainale development, World Water Authority

Full text available in PDF: Academicus-MMXII-6-071-077.pdf

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