This chapter discusses the evolving understanding of human rights to encompass determinants of health through the human rights to water and sanitation, which are vital to the prevention of both communicable and non-communicable disease. In 2002, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights argued that the right to water is a distinct human right derived from the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to health. Solidified by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, states have provided a normative framework for efforts to realize the human rights to water and sanitation. This recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation has provided a foundation to implement these rights through national policy and international organizations. With advocates now seeking accountability for these rights, human rights advocacy, litigation, and monitoring will be crucial for meeting water, sanitation, and hygiene needs.
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