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The right to water in the face of extractive activities. Civil society mobilisation

In 2014, France Libertés – Fondation Danielle Mitterrand launched a call for proposals relating to the right to water in the face of extractive industries. Using those proposals, the Foundation intends to highlight the efforts of those who work to promote and defend the right to water in areas that are affected by extractivism.

Closely in line with the work it has carried out since 1986 to promote human rights, France Libertés has dedicated more than 15 years to protecting the right to water for all. Taking a stand against the purely commercial vision of that common good, the Foundation campaigns actively for participatory, democratic, public and sustainable water management. As emphasised by Danielle Mitterrand, “it is water, that vital element, on which the rights of individuals and peoples depend”.

This was the premise on which France Libertés based its commitment to the recognition of the right to water as established by the United Nations. That recognition was endorsed in 2002 by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, then in 2010 and then unanimously in 2013 by the General Assembly. France Libertés now focuses on the implementation and observance of that right.

This report aims to present the phenomenon of extractivism and its impact on the right to water for all. Using the many testimonies collected during the call for proposals, we hope to put forward a major concern – that of the threat hanging over a fundamental right of thousands of people around the world. Moreover, we wish to highlight the work conducted on the ground by local associations that defend the right to water on a daily basis.