Right to Water in India – Plugging Conceptual and Practical Gaps

Right to Water in India – Plugging Conceptual and Practical Gaps

International Journal of Human Rights, 1 January 2013

This article examines the content of the human right to water. It starts from the premise that the right is firmly anchored in international and national law. It thus moves beyond debates concerning either the existence or the legal status of the right in favour of a more in-depth discussion of its content. It focuses on India, a country where the right is well entrenched at a broad level but where the actual content of the right is not well defined in legal instruments. It considers some of the aspects of the right that are most critical at this juncture from a policy perspective, including the need to ensure that the universality of the right in theory is matched by universal realisation, the need for the core content of the right to be provided by the state and the need to recognise the right as including a free water component if it is to make a difference for the overwhelming majority of poor people.

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