Every Thursday for the past month, the Center on Rights Development (CORD), housed at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, has been holding symposia on various aspects of the right to water in order to generate discussion around this oft neglected human right.
“We are living in a increasingly water scarce world,” said Mai-Lan Ha, research associate with the Pacific Institute’s Globalization Program and a symposium panelist. But more so than access, much of the problems lie in mismanagement and efficient use of water.
Water rights, as a necessary condition for life, tie into other human rights and even broader international governance issues. Often times the UN has bypassed national governments to encourage local or private stewardship of water sources, raising questions of capacity and sovereign rights.
Topics have ranged from individual access to scarcity to privatization and will culminate this coming Thursday with a panel on “Rivers of Conflict.”
What makes this particular symposium so important is its application in our own backyards. Colorado’s own water issues were the topic of the second session.
“The fact that we focused on water in the West, that we live in a semi arid desert means this is really relevant to us as citizens of Denver,” said Kellie Brandt, Josef Korbel School MA Candidate and CORD’s Communications and Media Coordinator.
CORD holds symposia every year on economic, social and cultural human rights, the focus of the center’s research and educational outreach. Past topics have included minority rights and the right to work.
- Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development
Josef Korbel School of International Studies