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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Privatisation of Water in Southern Africa: A Human Rights Perspective
Author:Chirwa, Danwood M.
Periodical:African Human Rights Law Journal
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subjects:social and economic rights
water supply
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Politics and Government
Abstract:Privatization in southern Africa has, since the 1990s, extended to the provision of basic services. Policies on water provision are directly linked to the enjoyment of such rights as the right to water, housing, life and health. This paper investigates and critiques arguments in favour of the assertion that the involvement of the private sector in the provision of basic services can enhance the enjoyment of human rights. It argues that evidence supporting an affirmative contribution of privatization in this regard is scanty and at best speculative. While privatization as a policy per se may not be objectionable, human rights law prescribes standards to which privatization measures must conform. Southern African countries have certain socioeconomic rights obligations emanating from CESCR (Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and their domestic constitutions. Privatization does not mean a delegation of State obligations in relation to human rights, although the question of privatization has reinforced the call for the recognition of human rights obligations of private actors as well. Some of the obligations that States have in the context of the privatization of water are explored. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]