Third World Centre for Water Management


Managing Water as a Human Right: Challenges and Opportunities

Asit K. Biswas

Research Seminar
Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy | March 6, 2017

During 23–24 February, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences brought together some of the world’s leading water professionals from different disciplines, theologians and development specialists to discuss how the concept of water as a human right can be successfully implemented in the developing world. The participants came from different religions and also from different sectors: academia, governments, businesses, NGOS, and labour unions. Pope Francis spent two hours with the group.

This candid discussion at the Vatican followed Pope Francis encyclical letter Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home. This encyclical comprehensively discusses contemporary environmental issues, including water. In this encyclical, the Pontiff asserts “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right”.

After attending this meeting, I was invited to give a talk on my views on water as a human right. This is captured in the following video.


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