The session focusses on the workforce operating the sanitation chain - those who empty septic tanks and latrines or maintain sewers. Sanitation workers are critical to achieve safely managed sanitation, but oftentimes face terrible working conditions and stigma. We will discuss global practical experiences to protect workers dignity, health and safety.
This event will throw light on the millions of sanitation workers around the globe, who provide an essential public service - but often at the cost of their dignity, safety, health, and living conditions. Sanitation workers are often poorly paid, lack safety training, and do not wear protective gear. At World Water Week 2019, the World Bank, ILO, WaterAid and WHO presented a recent assessment of the health, safety, and dignity of sanitation workers, which identified four areas for action. This session builds on that, highlighting positive developments through good policies and practices, (social) movements, and latest research by:
Showing examples for policy, regulations and legislation that protect workers from various countries.
Presenting good practices of the development and adoption of standard operating procedures (SOPs), e.g. from the Indian government, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tanzania.
Showcasing advocacy for sanitation workers, like social movements (India), the creation of associations (Burkina Faso), using photography for advocacy (Zambia,India), and international pit emptiers skills challenges
Pointing out progress and shortcomings in building the evidence base through e.g. studies on exclusion and research on the disease burden of sanitation workers.
Gender dimensions are relevant and will be discussed, especially in relation to manual scavenging.
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