Water crisis in Syria and the human rights

It’s an undeniable fact that the water is the most basic element in our world. Unfortunately, the most recent example of water crisis takes place in Syria. After the outbreak of the war the water crisis has become deepened as long as safe water has been dramatically limited.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Development_Goals

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Development_Goals

The most vulnerable victims are children who suffer from water borne diseases. According to the facts more than 105.886 cases of diarrhea and 1.144 cases of typhoid have been reported. People and children in Syria suffer and die from lack of safe water, while the water consists without a doubt one of the basic human rights. The right to water is connected and is ensured by the right to life and to health.

 

Right to life

 

The right to water is synonym to the right to life. As long as the water is necessary for the survival of human beings and that people cannot live without drinking water we can say that the access to water is included in the right to life. The right to life is the first fundamental right of the humanity (and unfortunately the most violated). A lot of International Conventions declare this right.  We can mention the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (article 3), the European Convention on Human Rights (article 2) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 6).

 

Right to health

 

By securing the access to water, we secure the right to health because there is an interconnection between them as long as the right to water contributes to the protection of the health. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1966 ensures the right to enjoy a better state of health (article 12). The right to health is also mentioned in five other cores of international instruments on human rights. For example, in the European Convention on Human Rights (article 8) and the International Convection on the rights of the child (1989, article 24).

 

Right to water

 

Nevertheless, all these rights are relevant to the water. So after a lot of efforts and decisions the General Assembly of the United Nations has adopted the right to water as a specified right. Τhis declaration has a legal and moral aspect because it  will  also motivate the nations  to adopt plans for the water safety.

 

So the access to safe water is safeguarded by these tree rights. Nevertheless, this legal basis is not powerful and in reality people in Syria suffer from lack of water. Living conditions are dramatic and people call the ONU and other organizations for a humanitarian aid. As far as there are rights in international Conventions that ensure the protection of water, there is the legal basis-apart from the humanitarian aspect- in order to ask for more action. This is the time in order to pass from the theoretical declarations to protection in practice.

 

Sources

 

http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.shtml

http://www.unric.org/en/water/27360-making-water-a-human-right

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=51394#.Vy8-cPmLTIU

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