Corporate Stand on Water as a Human Right and Public Trust – 2004
Because we know that
- Access to clean water in sufficient amounts is absolutely essential for human life and health.
- Freshwater is a limited resource: only 2.5 percent of Earth’s total water supply is freshwater and less than 1 percent of that is usable in a renewable fashion.
- The world’s finite supply of accessible freshwater is so polluted, diverted and depleted that millions of people and other species are deprived of water for life.
- Lack of access to adequate freshwater increases the likelihood of violent conflict between nations.
- Commodification of freshwater and privatization of water services typically decrease accessibility of clean affordable water for poor persons and countries.
- Water is explicitly recognized as a human right in the General Comment on the Right to Water adopted by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in November 2002.
- John Paul II and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace assert that access to safe water is an inalienable human right.
Because we believe that
- Water is a sacred gift: the lifeblood of Earth and rightful inheritance of Earth and all species.
- Water is a public good and all sectors of society should be involved in decision-making regarding its protection, management and distribution.
- Catholic Social Teaching and our commitment to the Earth Charter call us to take personal and collective responsibility for safeguarding the world’s freshwater and ensuring its equitable distribution.
We endorse the following Corporate Stand.
Corporate Stand Statement
The Sisters of the Holy Cross affirm that:
- Access to clean water is a fundamental, inalienable human right.
- Earth’s freshwater is
- a shared legacy;
- a common good;
- a public trust; and
- a collective responsibility.
- As an essential element of life, freshwater must not be treated as a private commodity to be bought, sold and traded for profit.
Therefore, we support actions and policies that
- ensure access to sufficient, affordable, safe water for all people, especially the most vulnerable; and
- protect freshwater as a sustainable, renewable resource.
We oppose actions and policies that
- endanger the world’s supply of freshwater;
- deprive humans and other species access to adequate, safe water essential for life; and
- commodify and privatize the global water commons.