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Right to Sanitation in India – Critical Perspectives

The right to sanitation has been recognised in India for more than two decades, and progressively integrated into the international human rights law framework since the beginning of the century. Courts in India have derived the right from the constitutional right to life and repeatedly affirmed its existence. However, key issues persist concerning the realisation of the right to sanitation for all, the scope of the right, its links with other rights such as health, gender equality and environment, as well as issues of specific relevance in the Indian context, such as manual scavenging.

This book represents the first effort to conceptually engage with the right to sanitation and its multiple dimensions in India, as well as its broader international and comparative setting. It critically analyses the contributions of the law and policy framework to the realisation of the right in India, including the role of the Swachh Bharat Mission, institutional aspects, initiatives to foster community participation, infrastructure dimensions, wastewater treatment and re-use, manual scavenging and rights of sanitation workers, and gender dimensions.

Editors: P. Cullet, S. Koonan & L. Bhullar
Publication Date: 2019
Binding: hardback


Ordering information: This book may be ordered worldwide by visiting the website of Oxford University Press [read more]. Readers ordering from India should visit this page [read more]


Table of Contents

Foreword by Usha Ramanathan


List of abbreviations and Hindi Terms 

Part I. Conceptual Framework
Chapter I.: Sanitation: The Last Taboo Becomes A Human Right

Catarina de Albuquerque
Chapter II.: Sanitation in South Africa: Policy, Practice, and Contestation

Jackie Dugard
Chapter III.: The Right to Sanitation: Multiple Dimensions and Challenges

Philippe Cullet
Chapter IV.: Sanitation and State Planning: An Analysis of Five-year Plans

Ruchi Shree
Part II. Realising the Right to Sanitation in Rural and Urban Areas
Chapter V.: Assessing the Realisation of the Right to Sanitation in Rural Areas

Sujith Koonan
Chapter VI.: Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) and Its Potential to Realise the Right to Sanitation

Lyla Mehta
Chapter VII.: Right to Sanitation in Urban Areas: Legal Obligations and Institutional Challenges

Mathew John
Chapter VIII.: The Politics of Open Defecation: Informality, Body, and Infrastructure in Mumbai

Renu Desai, Colin McFarlane, and Steve Graham
Chapter IX.: The Environmental Dimension of the Right to Sanitation

Lovleen Bhullar
Part III. Dignity, Safety, and Vulnerability
Chapter X.: Safai Karamchari Andolan: An Insider's Account

Bezwada Wilson
Chapter XI.: Invisible Inequalities: an Analysis of the Safai Karamchari Andolan Case

Shomona Khanna
Chapter XII.: Rights of Sanitation Workers in India

P. Sakthivel, M. Nirmalkumar, and Akshayaa Benjamin
Chapter XIII.: Sanitation, Gender Inequality, and Implications for Rights

Sujith Koonan and Lovleen Bhullar