The right to water is a prerequisite for the exercise of the right to adequate housing. Those most affected by the lack of access to adequate water are children, the elderly and people with illnesses.

The privatization of water resources has a negative impact on the poorest segments of society. The emphasis on profit in the private market causes price increases that can make water unaffordable to the poor.

In 2008, the Human Rights Council decided to nominate an Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. The first Rapporteur to be appointed for this mandate was Catarina de Albuquerque.

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