Research Handbook on International Water Law
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Research Handbook on International Water Law

Edited by Stephen C. McCaffrey, Christina Leb and Riley T. Denoon

The Research Handbook on International Water Law surveys the field of the law of shared freshwater resources. In some thirty chapters, it covers subjects ranging from the general principles operative in the field and international groundwater law to the human right to water and whether international water law is prepared to cope with climate disruption. The authors are internationally recognized experts in the field, most with years of experience. The Research Handbook is edited by three scholars and practitioners whose publications and work deal with the law of international watercourses.
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Chapter 16: The UNECE Protocol on Water and Health for the implementation of the right to drinking water and sanitation

Attilla Tanzi and Gian Maria Farnelli


The chapter analyses the 1999 UNECE London Protocol on Water and Health. It argues that the instrument under consideration plays a key role in the consolidation and implementation of the right to access to water as an autonomous human right, even though it was not produced within the context of human rights diplomacy. In providing an overview of the Protocol, the contribution emphasizes the due diligence nature of the relevant substantive obligations and addresses the role of international cooperation in implementing the right in point, despite its primary domestic relevance. The chapter briefly engages in a comparative analysis of the Protocol in relation to other human rights-related instruments. It also illustrates the Protocol’s compliance review mechanism. It concludes with few general considerations on the practical aspects of the implementation and enforcement of the Protocol.

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