Maja Nastić

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Given the importance of water for the survival of humankind and the entire living world, and considering that many parts of the world are running out of water, the human right to water has gradually become an issue of considerable concern worldwide. We should also bear in mind that water has an economic value. It is often figuratively called “the blue gold’’ or “the oil of the 21st century’’, which makes it a precious commodity and an object of market exchange. In such circumstances, it is necessary to make a strong turn and establish the human right to water in the highest legal documents. In this paper, the author points to the importance of incorporating the right to water in the constitutionally guaranteed rights. The constitutional regulation and protection of this human right would create conditions to protect the general public interest, which should prevail over the individual commercial interests in water privatization. The starting point for this analysis will be the existing normative framework which has been established at the international level, involving the key role of the UN. Exercising the right to water will also be explored from the perspective of the ECtHR jurisprudence. The paper will also point to the examples of constitutional provisions in the countries which have recognized this right.


human rights, right to water, constitution, water as an economic good

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