Third Human Rights Youth Challenge focuses on Private Sector Participation in Water and Sanitation Sector

Deadline: 2 September 2019

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation is organizing the Third Human Rights Youth Challenge and invites youth aged between 24 and 32 years to submit a 2000 word essay on “private sector participation in the water and sanitation sector: a human rights perspective”.

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The submission will be in a form of an essay focusing on one case study. Participants are free to choose a case, which focuses on various forms and models of private sector participation in the water and sanitation sector and analyse gaps in human rights protection and impact on the realization of the human rights to water and sanitation.

The challenge, organised by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, is an opportunity for applicants to show their knowledge, understanding and passion about the human rights to water and sanitation by creating original content. The challenge is co-organised together with UN Water, the Permanent Missions of Spain, the Permanent Mission of Germany, UNESCO-IHP, AquaFed, Public Services International, Franciscans International and the Water Youth Network.

The 3rd Youth Challenge is made possible through the financial support of the Government of Spain and the Government of Germany.

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  • The theme of the 3rd Human Rights Youth Challenge is: “private sector participation in the water and sanitation sector: a human rights perspective”.
  • The theme of the 3rd Human Rights Youth Challenge is also the theme of the Special Rapporteur’s report for 2020 on the analysis of private sector participation in the water and sanitation sector from a human rights perspective. In this report, he will assess challenges, risks and impacts – from a human rights perspective – of various models of private sector participation in water and sanitation services.

Prize Information

The UN Special Rapporteur will invite the winner to join him during an expert consultation, to discuss the impact of private sector participation in the water and sanitation sectors on the human rights to water and sanitation with key experts and stakeholders.

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Eligibility Criteria

All persons between the ages of 24 and 32 years, as of 2 October 2019.

Length of Essay: 2,000 words in word document (including footnotes, page numbers, heading)

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Language: English, Spanish and French

How to Apply

  • Applicants share their main findings via social media channels where the UN Special Rapporteur has accounts.
  • Mark the social media update by including the hashtag #Youth4watsan and tagging the Special Rapporteur’s account
  • Submit the essay together with the link to the social media update to email address given with the subject: “Submission for 3rd Human RIghts Challenge”
  • Applicants do not include their name or any other identifying details in the submission
  • Multiple submissions are NOT accepted
  • Submissions that do not follow instructions will not be considered.

For more information, please visit

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