On January 24, the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights together with the Committee on Development held a public hearing on the right to water and sanitation. To watch the session (which was just over an hour in length), please go to http://www.europarl.europa.eu/wps-europarl-internet/frd/vod/player?eventCode=20110124-1500-COMMITTEE-DROI&language=en&byLeftMenu=researchcommittee&category=COMMITTEE&format=wmv#anchor1.
The speakers included Finnish Green MEP Heidi Hautala, British Conservative MEP Nirj Deva, and French Green MEP Catherine Greze. Catarina de Albuquerque, the United Nations Independent Expert on the issue of human rights, was also present at the session at the European Parliament in Brussels.
According to the draft programme, “The joint hearing will focus on analysing the actions and measures, including those of a legislative nature, taken by the EU and its Member States at national and international level, to ensure human rights obligations regarding access to safe drinking water and to sanitation are respected. The joint hearing is to prepare for the 14th World Water Day (on 22 March 2011), when the EU will also be celebrating the 2nd European Water Day.”
It should be highlighted that in March 2009 the European Parliament voted to declare, “that water is a shared resource of mankind and that access to drinking water should constitute a fundamental and universal right.”