To quote Sylvie Paquerot, “First of all, the right to access drinking water does not appear in general legal instruments (Universal Declaration of Human Rights or international treaties). Recently, the Commission on Human Rights has taken hold of the issue of water through their Special Rapporteur on the right to food. A report was released in 1998 on the right of access to clean drinking water. This topic became a mandate for the following report (2001). Jean Ziegler also presented the UN with a report on the link between privatisation and intervention from multinationals, and the implementation a right to the access of water.
All of this consisted of internal work within the Commission on Human Rights. In the legal sphere, on the other hand, there are references to a right to water in three texts: