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Mar 21 2007
Supplied or written by Patricia Jones

Along with the@announcement are the resource materials that will help to guide your
comments - see the bottom of the page, "useful links."
 
The request has a short timeline: April 15. This is the early stage of
the process. There may be other opportunities to present information as
the process unfolds. The UN OHCHR is asking for information about
specific cases, general views, best practices, among other matters.
There is an emphasis on the impacts of privatization on the right to
water. I urge you to consider also passing on this information and
working with, other NGOs that may be active in indigenous rights, in the
right to the environment, public health, the rights of children, the
rights of women, the rights of people in humanitarian crisis, economic
justice and labor rights.
 
Professor John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative on Human Rights and
Business, in his recent report, makes the important point that all human
rights are interconnected. Labor unions may consider a submittal on how
the changes in the water sector has impacted on labor rights. The
Special Representative's report, and links to information on how to
conduct a human rights impact assessment, can be found at:

http://www.business-humanrights.org/Gettingstarted/UNSpecialRepresentati
ve
 
I strongly encourage each of us to consider following the UN process,
responding to the request for information, following our national
government's official responses to the UN OHCHR, and the regional human
rights bodies responses.
 
For guidance on how to prepare a communication, the UN OHCHR NGO
Handbook is helpful, with information, including examples, of how to
address communications to the UN OHCHR. Please see:
http://www.ohchr.org/english/about/publications/

There may be human rights NGOs who could partner to make a submittal.
Academic institutions may be helpful. A broad coalition of groups from
one country, or one issue area, may also be effective.
 
The UN processes are meant to be participatory. It is not necessary to
have a sophisticated, legal opinion to communicate with the UN OHCHR.
The communication should be simple, to the point, reporting on human
right to water problems, violations, the facts of a specific case, or
views.
 
Please consider responding and posting communication to the internet,
and passing along the link to our greater water justice community. If it
is appropriate, UUSC is compiling a bibliography of materials on the
right to water, and if you wish it to be included, pass the link along.
 
Best wishes in your important work.
 
Sincerely,
 
Patricia Jones
UUSC Environmental Justice Manager



Welcome to the resource section. Here you can find a wealth of analysis about (alternatives to) privatisation, public-public partnerships, financing public water and other key topics.