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November 14, 2013

Special World Toilet Day

19 November 2013

Time to talk about toilets and make the human right a reality

World Toilet Day Logo19 November 2013 is the first ever UN-endorsed World Toilet Day. Though it has been marked by international and civil society organizations all over the world for many years, World Toilet Day was not formally recognized as an official UN day until an UNGA resolution of 24 July 2013.

There are obvious reasons why 100 countries came together to pass the resolution: 2.5 of the world's seven billion people, mostly in rural areas, still do not have proper sanitation and 1.1 billion people have to defecate in the open. This has dire consequences on human health, dignity and security, the environment, and social and economic development.

So on 19 November we will celebrate World Toilet Day. To break a taboo. To help make the human right to sanitation a reality. Join us: #Toilets4All

Because sanitation is a human right.
Because sanitation is vital for good health.
Because sanitation brings dignity, equality and safety.

Because sanitation is a good economic investment.
Because sanitation sustains clean environments.


Quick facts

On 28 July 2010, the UNGA recognized the human right to water and sanitation.

2.5 billion people do not have improved sanitation facilities.

More than one billion must defecate in the open.

One gram of human faeces can contain 10 million viruses.

Diarrhoea, caused by food, water and environment contaminated by human faeces, is the second deadliest killer of children in the world.

Without toilets women and girls are at risk of rape and animal attacks.

Adequate sanitation for 2.5 billion people can save $260 billion a year.

Up to 1/4 of schoolgirls drop out of school permanently because of the lack of a toilet.

Improving sanitation can reduce stunting, improve nutrition, the economy and development.

Check the Sanitation Drive fact sheets in 5 languages


UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Water Supply and Basic Sanitation

UN-Water's Thematic Priority Area on Water Supply and Sanitation was created to foster collaboration between UN Agencies and provide value added services to the UN and to Member States.

It supports initiatives that facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals' targets on water and sanitation as well as contributes to the on-going work to define the post-2015 development agenda and a possible Water Goal.

The Thematic Priority Area, which is coordinated by UNU and UN HABITAT and involves a number of UN-Water Members and Partners, spearheads activities related to the Sanitation Drive to 2015 and World Toilet Day. It also supports the DSG's call to action to end open defecation.

Read more



UNGA Resolution

Sanitation for All: The Drive to 2015

Deputy Secretary General's call to action to end open defecation



Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council


Water and Sanitation Program

Every Women Every Child

World Toilet Organization

"Water for Life" Decade



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