During the 42nd Human Rights Council Session under Item 3 Interactive Dialogue (ID) on the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral statement on how the Saudi and Emirati aggression in Yemen is affecting the provision of clear drinking water and sanitation services. There are currently more than 19.3 Yemenis without access to water and sanitation facilities in the country.
Click here for the PDF format and please find the statement below.
We welcome your report, in which you made it abundantly clear the access to clean water and sanitation is an essential part of the compliance with human rights standards. In your report, you state “in order for states to realize their human rights obligations to ensure water and sanitation in public spaces, they must provide such services, in line with the normative content of the rights”. You further state that in public spaces “States are obliged to provide a supply of water to such places that is both continuous and sufficient for personal needs, such as for personal sanitation and drinking.
However, these standards are not present in Yemen, due to the actions by the de facto government in Sana’a and because of Saudi and Emirati aggression in Yemen. The coalition has attacked facilities around Yemen that provide clean drinking water and sanitation services, while preventing damaged facilities from receiving necessary repairs.
In July 2018, the UN said that airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition struck facilities providing most of the water to the major city of Hodeida. The US-backed Saudi-led coalition has consistently and deliberately attacked water and sanitation facilities in Yemen, leaving more than 19.3 million Yemenis without access to clean water and sanitation, causing the worst cholera outbreak in recent history.
Mr. Rapporteur, how do you see the actions of the Saudi and Emirati coalition affecting the situation of clean water and sanitation in Yemen? What recommendations can you provide that would address the paucity of clean water and sanitation facilities in the country? Lastly, we urge you to request a visit to Yemen in order to assess the situation on the ground.