On December 10, UN Human Rights Day, the Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Canada will become the first group of religious communities in Canada to be designated a "Blue Community" which supports the right to safe drinking water.
In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution recognizing the human right to water and sanitation. Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si', says: This is a central issue in today's world, a problem that affects everyone…and it cries out for practical solutions.
The Council of Canadians and CUPE initiated the global Blue Communities movement which treats water as a common good that is shared by everyone and is the responsibility of all.
As a Blue Community the Federation members will:
- Recognize water and sanitation as human rights.
- Promote the use of tap water at Congregational facilities and events.
- Educate community members & partners to avoid using bottled water where potable water exists.
- Uphold a "water commons" framework in which water is shared and the responsibility of all.
- Urge the government to adopt sustainable policies that give particular attention to the rights of marginalized groups, communities, and individuals.
"Our commitment to regard water as a basic right calls for developing a culture of care and joining our voices to the cry for justice, respect and responsible sharing of water and to work towards universal access to clean water," says Sr. Trina Bottos, President of the Federation.
The World Health Organization predicts that half of the world's population will be living in water-stressed areas by 2025. Currently, 844 million people lack a basic drinking-water service. At any moment, over 100 Indigenous communities in Canada are under drinking water advisories.
Together we can make a difference. Join us by becoming a Blue Community.
For further information:
Lisa Tabachnick, Communications Director, Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, 416-467-2630 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sr. Thérèse Meunier, Congregational Leader, Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, 416-467-2621 or email@example.com