Malaysia: UN human rights expert on drinking water and sanitation to visit

General Press Releases Friday November 9, 2018 15:43
Bangkok--9 Nov--OHCHR-Bangkok

The UN expert on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation will visit Malaysia from 14 to 27 November to assess how the country's legal, policy and institutional framework ensures access to drinking water and sanitation from a human rights perspective.

"I look forward to learning about how the Malaysian water and sanitation sector, after having started a reform in the mid-2000's, is organised to provide equal access to water and sanitation for the entire population in Malaysia," said Leo Heller.

"I would like to further learn about the crucial role of the recently established Ministry of Water, Land and Natural Resources and how the federal and local governments cooperate in ensuring access to those services in Peninsular Malaysia and the federal territories as well as in East Malaysia, namely, the States of Sabah and Sarawak."

The Special Rapporteur will assess whether the entire population in Malaysia has sufficient, hygienic and safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water and sanitation services, without discrimination.

The UN independent expert will travel to Gua Musang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Miri, Putrajaya and Sandakan. He will meet federal, state and local government officials, representatives of NGOs, water and sanitation service providers and members of the international community.

"I will pay special attention to groups such as women and girls, indigenous populations, persons with disabilities, LGBT persons, detainees, people living in rural areas and other marginalized groups. In particular, I will examine the access to water and sanitation by the 'forcibly displaced people' in detention facilities, camps and other informal settlements," Heller said.

In a recent report, the Special Rapporteur focused on the human rights to water and sanitation of forcibly displaced persons, in particular, the internally displaced, refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented populations and migrants in vulnerable situations.

A news conference to share the expert's preliminary findings will be held in Kuala Lumpur on 27 November, at 11am at the JW Marriott Hotel. Access is strictly limited to journalists.
The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report on his visit to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva in September 2019.

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