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Article

The Determinants of Access to Sanitation: The Role of Human Rights and the Challenges of Measurement

1
School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
2
Chr. Michelsen Institute, 5003 Bergen, Norway
3
Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo, 0130 Oslo, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Julio Berbel
Water 2021, 13(12), 1676; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121676
Received: 29 April 2021 / Revised: 4 June 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 17 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of the Human Right to Water)
Ten years after the United Nation’s recognition of the human right to water and sanitation (HRtWS), little is understood about how these right impacts access to sanitation. There is limited identification of the mechanisms responsible for improvements in sanitation, including the international and constitutional recognition of rights to sanitation and water. We examine a core reason for the lack of progress in this field: data quality. Examining data availability and quality on measures of access to sanitation, we arrive at three findings: (1) where data are widely available, measures are not in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets, revealing little about changes in sanitation access; (2) data concerning safe sanitation are missing in more country-year observations than not; and (3) data are missing in the largest proportions from the poorest states and those most in need of progress on sanitation. Nonetheless, we present two regression analyses to determine what effect rights recognition has on improvements in sanitation access. First, the available data are too limited to analyze progress toward meeting SDGs related to sanitation globally, and especially in regions most urgently needing improvements. Second, utilizing more widely available data, we find that rights seem to have little impact on access. View Full-Text
Keywords: sanitation; water; human rights; sustainable development goals; data quality; data availability sanitation; water; human rights; sustainable development goals; data quality; data availability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schiel, R.; Wilson, B.M.; Langford, M. The Determinants of Access to Sanitation: The Role of Human Rights and the Challenges of Measurement. Water 2021, 13, 1676. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121676

AMA Style

Schiel R, Wilson BM, Langford M. The Determinants of Access to Sanitation: The Role of Human Rights and the Challenges of Measurement. Water. 2021; 13(12):1676. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121676

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schiel, Rebecca, Bruce M. Wilson, and Malcolm Langford. 2021. "The Determinants of Access to Sanitation: The Role of Human Rights and the Challenges of Measurement" Water 13, no. 12: 1676. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121676

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