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The Definition of Human Right to Water and Its’ Effect on Water Rights

  • DONG-A LAW REVIEW
  • 2014, (64), pp.279-308
  • Publisher : The Institute for Legal Studies Dong-A University
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law

Ryu, Kwon-Hong 1

1원광대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Water has consumed at each portion of 70% in agriculture, 20% in industry, 10% in household and personal in history. But, absolute amount of water consumed by human increased with explosion of population and industrial development. Basically, Water itself has regarded as a kind of resources for wealth. Even water is essential for human life, there are over 1 billion people who cannot be provided clean and safe water on earth. 10 Facts on water by WHO show the reason of lack of water resources, the effects of water on health and industry as well as the importance of human right to water clearly. UN recognized that issue of water with energy and food should be an important factor for sustainable development. Last April 5, the president of World Bank, Mr. Kim Yong, said that there might be wars surrounding water and food; and that clean water and sanitation will be critical in the age of climate change; therefore, inappropriate responses to those issues will cause struggles for taking those resources. After the proposal in which human right to water should be a solution for lack of water resources and unfair distribution of it by Professor Stephen C. McCaffrey, water supply necessary for basic human life has been regarded as a kind of basic human rights. Human right to water is an important legal issue from the perspective of international law and constitutional law not only in developing countries but in developed countries in spite of differences in degree or methods for implementation. With evolution of human right to water, it is required that theory of water rights such as riparianism, prior appropriation doctrine, and the issue of the ownership of water should be reviewed. The legal arguments on the definition, however, legal feature, and contents of human right to water can supplement the uncertainty of human right to water. On top of that, the policy of privatization of water industry should be reappraised because privatization is contradictory to human right to water as seen at Cochabamba case in Bolivia. In this article, the issues of the evolutionary history of human right to water, the contents and the actual meaning of it in Korea are analysed.

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