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World Toilet Day

19 Nov. 2015 • 00:00 - 00:00 • Worldwide

World Toilet Day is a day to take action. It is a day to raise awareness about people who do not have access to a toilet – despite the human right to water and sanitation.

Of the world’s seven billion people, 2.4 billion people do not use a basic toilet. Almost 1 billion people still defecate in the open. Without good sanitation, women and children are particularly at risk of disease and malnutrition.

We can’t wait to change this situation. We must speak up and end the global sanitation crisis. This is why the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 designated 19 November as World Toilet Day. World Toilet Day is coordinated by UN-Water in collaboration with Governments and relevant stakeholders

Event Details

This year, World Toilet Day is focusing on the link between sanitation and nutrition – drawing the world’s attention to the importance of toilets in supporting better nutrition and improved health. Lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, along with the absence of good hygiene practices, are among the underlying causes of poor nutrition.

The UN estimates that 946 million people practice open defecation. Defecating openly means diseases like diarrhea and intestinal worms can quickly spread. A vicious cycle exists between diarrhea and undernutrition, especially for children.

Kids with diarrhea eat less and are less able to absorb and use nutrients from their food; malnourished children are more susceptible to diarrhea when exposed to fecal material from their environment. This has serious, and often fatal impacts on their health and development. Almost half of all child deaths are related to malnutrition. 159 million children under five are stunted - a condition that impairs physical and cognitive development. Young mothers are also affected by stunting, which is associated with 1 in 5 maternal deaths.

Combining interventions that improve sanitation and hygiene with appropriate infant and young child feeding practices contributes to positive nutrition outcomes. In addressing the sanitation crisis, we can improve the health, dignity, safety, survival and livelihoods – building blocks for the Sustainable Development Goals. We can’t wait to bring these solutions to the people who need them most.


Key Facts and States

  • There are currently 2.4 billion people who do not have access to improved sanitation, including basic toilets or latrines.
  •  946 million people worldwide still defecate in the open.
  • Almost 1,000 children die every day from diarrhoeal diseases due to a lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene.
  • Poor WASH conditions have been closely linked to stunting, which affects around 159 million children worldwide, causing irreversible physical and cognitive damage.
  • We must double our current efforts in order to end open defecation by 2030.


How can I participate?

1. Save the date - November 19th!

On you find all the resources and materials you’ll need to particiapte, including information about this years theme, posters, infographics, social media links and more.


2. Take action

Want to share your support for ending the sanitation crisis but don’t know how? Take part in one of our suggested activities and join the global call for change.

2.1 Be a thinker

On World Toilet Day, think about the 2.4 billion people who don’t use a toilet, and the 946 million who have to go in the open. Think about how we can overcome the global sanitation crisis so that our global neighbours can have access to one of the world’s most critical inventions—the toilet. Show support on World Toilet Day by posing as a “Thinker” and sharing your photo and thought on access to toilets.

Share like this:
Many of our global neighbours don’t have access to a toilet. Give this a thought, its #WorldToiletDay #WeCantWait

2.2 Be an artist

Use art to let the the world know what it means to gain access to a toilet. Write a poem, paint a picture, hang one of posters in your office or design your own! Be sure to share your art with us on social media using the official hashtag #WorldToiletDay and #WeCantWait.

Share like this:
This #WorldToiletDay we brought art to the campaign - this is my contribution!

2.3 Be a sharer

This World Toilet Day keep your toilets clean, open the door and invite people to use them. Whether you’re in a rural or urban setting, in a private or public space, you can share your toilet to show support for the 2.4 Billion who still lack access to one! Make sure you share your story with us and on social media, always using the official hashtag #WorldToiletDay and #WeCantWait. Take photos and bring your story to life.