In 2016, Human Rights Watch released a report on First Nations communities in the province of Ontario that looked at the human impacts of this crisis and why the problem persists. They found that the Canadian government has violated its international human rights obligations toward First Nations persons and communities by failing to remedy the severe water crisis.
This guide, published in October 2019, sets out how First Nations communities and advocates can use the human rights framework as an additional tool in advocating for safe drinking water. While First Nations persons and peoples have aboriginal and treaty rights from which they can build their advocacy, the drinking water crisis on reserves is a space where human rights are also highly relevant. The guide seeks to provide an overview of the legal framework behind the human right to water and recommendations on how to engage government actors on the topic.
The guide is intended to be a tool that is accessible and useful for chiefs and councils, communities and individual waterkeepers, and advocates.
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