Inconvenient Human Rights: Access to Water and Sanitation in Sweden's Informal Roma Settlements
Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Sodertörn University, and NuLawLab (April 2016)
39 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2016
Date Written: 2016
Swedish municipalities initiated more than 80 evictions of vulnerable EU citizens, mostly Roma, from informal settlements on the grounds of poor sanitation between 2013 and 2016. As explained in this report by the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, Sodertörn University and the NuLawLab of Northeastern University School of Law, these evictions violated human rights obligations when individuals were offered no alternative access to water and sanitation beyond a few days. Access to water and sanitation, on terms that are affordable and safe, are basic, universal human rights that must be available to all people present in a jurisdiction. In a water-rich country like Sweden, with highly-developed water and sanitation delivery systems, a more positive intervention by the government is required, the report concludes. Further, the report provides specific guidance on how cities can meet the government’s human rights obligations with respect to water and sanitation for the vulnerable Roma individuals in their communities.
Keywords: access to water, human rights
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