Native Village
Youth and Education news
September 2010 Volume 3

UN Declares That Clean Drinking Water is a Human Right

Condensed by Native Village

884,000,000 people lack access to clean water
2.600,000,000 lack access to basic sanitation.
1,500,000 children under age 5 die each year because of it.
443,000,000 school days are lost because of water or sanitation related diseases.

The United Nations has officially declared that access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right.

The resolution was proposed by Bolivia and co-sponsored by 35 states. It passed with 122 states voting in favor. 41 abstained.

Mikhail Gorbachev founded Green Cross International in 1993. He explains why the right to clean water is so significant. "As population growth and climate change increase the pressure for adequate water and food, water will increasingly become a security issue," he says. "As global temperatures rise, 'water refugees' will increase."

Gorbachev also says investing in clean water helps those in need and the global economy.

"A $20,000,000 investment in low-cost water technologies could help 100,000,000 farming families escape extreme poverty. Dedicating $15,000,000,000 a year to the water and sanitation millennium goals could bring $38,000,000,000 a year in global economic benefits. Thatís a pretty good rate of return in todayís financial climate."

The UN's resolution does not mean a sudden change, but it adds pressure on governments to ensure the well-being of their citizens.

The UN will receive yearly reports which show and track the steps being taken to ensure these basic rights. .

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