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Article

The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of Brazilian States

1
Department of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos 6627, Belo Horizonte, MG 31270-901, Brazil
2
René Rachou Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Av. Augusto de Lima, 1715, Belo Horizonte, MG 30190-002, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(2), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020228
Received: 20 August 2020 / Revised: 17 October 2020 / Accepted: 21 October 2020 / Published: 19 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Politics of the Human Right to Water)
The outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) led to an unprecedented number of policy responses from public institutions involved in the health and economic sectors. Nonetheless, the water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector remained in the background of this decision-making arena. The objective of the study presented herein was to observe and discuss political responses to the new coronavirus pandemic in the context of WASH during the first 40 days of the outbreak, using as cases the five Brazilian states most affected by the pandemic. We addressed this issue with a quali-quantitative exploratory study using content analysis to discuss the direction (for whom and how?) of those policy responses, through the framework of the human rights to water and sanitation. The paper also introduces a timeline to map the reactivity and proactivity of the studied institutions. We identified two major priorities in policy responses to the coronavirus pandemic: population protection and financial and economic sustainability of service providers. In regard to population protection, the findings show that it often did not contemplate all of the population, and that equality and non-discriminations were partially ignored in the laws and regulations. In addition, institutions more attached to service providers were more committed to the provider’s economic and financial sustainability than to measures to directly protect the population. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; WASH; public policies; policy responses; population protection; human rights to water and sanitation; equality; non-discrimination coronavirus; WASH; public policies; policy responses; population protection; human rights to water and sanitation; equality; non-discrimination
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MDPI and ACS Style

Victral, D.M.; Heller, L. The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of Brazilian States. Water 2021, 13, 228. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020228

AMA Style

Victral DM, Heller L. The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of Brazilian States. Water. 2021; 13(2):228. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020228

Chicago/Turabian Style

Victral, Davi M.; Heller, Léo. 2021. "The Human Rights to Water and Sanitation in Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Analysis of Brazilian States" Water 13, no. 2: 228. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020228

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