Catarina de Albuquerque was appointed Independent Expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation by the Human Rights Council in September 2008 and assumed her functions on 1 November 2008. She is a Portuguese lawyer and is currently working as a Senior Legal Adviser at the Human Rights Unit of the Portuguese Prosecutor’s Office. She holds a DES in international relations with a specialization in international law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, lectures at several universities in Portugal and has extensively published in the area of human rights.

For over ten years she has represented her country in international negotiations and conferences in the area of human rights at the UN, Council of Europe and European Union. Between 2004 and 2008 she was the Chairperson-Rapporteur of the Working Group on an Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She has also worked as a consultant for several international and European organisations (UNDP, UNICEF and the European Union), namely advising national authorities in the area of drafting national legislation in conformity with international human rights standards. Ms. De Albuquerque has also worked as a Senior Legal Adviser on International Affairs to the Portuguese Secretary of State for Justice.