World Toilet Day

The human right to sanitation entitles everyone, without discrimination, to have physical and affordable access to sanitation, in all spheres of life, that is safe, hygienic, secure, socially and culturally acceptable and that provides privacy and ensures dignity.

What’s UN World Toilet Day?

World Toilet Organization was founded on 19 November 2001 and the inaugural World Toilet Summit was held on the same day, the first global summit of its kind. We recognised the need for an international day to draw global attention to the sanitation crisis – and so we established World Toilet Day on 19 November. World Toilet Day has continued to garner support over the years, with NGOs, the private sector, civil society organisations and the international community joined in to mark the global day.

In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Right to Quality Education Team focuses on Goal 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all) and Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all).

Why Toilets?

A world body on toilets — are you kidding me? Your toilet is more important than you think.

Let’s take a look at some quick facts about the sanitation crisis.

Some 297 000 children – more than 800 every day – under five who die annually from diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene, or unsafe drinking water. These deaths are preventable.

Almost half of the schools in the world do not have handwashing facilities with soap and water available to students. Clean and safe toilets help keep more girls in school and increase attendance rates. Far too many girls miss out on education just because of the lack of a clean and safe toilet.

Over half of the global population or 4.2 billion people lack safe sanitation. Globally, at least 2 billion people use a drinking water source contaminated with faeces.

The practice of open defecation and lack of WASH facilities is a risk to women and girls in regards to sexual exploitation, personal safety, and a high risk to public health for the entire community. The United Nations Sustainable Developments Goals 6 (“SDG 6”) calls for access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, with special attention to women and girls, including managing defecation, urination and menstrual needs with dignity. 

It is more than clean that providing proper toilets, and WASH facilities can help protect girls and women – among other things – from sexual assault; decrease their vulnerability to diseases; and enable them to go to school continue their education.

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