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World Toilet Day
19 November

"By working together – and by having an open and frank discussion on the importance of toilets and sanitation – we can improve the health and well-being of one-third of the human family"

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the World Toilet Day

World Toilet Day, message from the UN Deputy Secretary-General

Ashwini Sunil Dahiwale with her daughter Sheetal Sunil Dahiwale, at their residential toilet in Chandrapur District (India). Toilets are being used regularly in the biovillage Cihkali (a UNICEF project) and offer some dignity for students and their families.

Photo © UNICEF India/2012/Dhiraj Singh

Millennium Development Goal 7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability), Target 7.c: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

While a vast majority of the world's population has access to mobile phones, one third of humanity (2.5 billion people) do not have access to proper sanitation, including toilets or latrines, with dramatic consequences on human health, dignity and security, the environment, and social and economic development.

To address these issues, the “Sanitation for All” Resolution (A/RES/67/291) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in July 2013, designating 19 November as World Toilet Day.

The lack of improved sanitation largely contributes to the fact that almost 2,000 children die every day from preventable diarrhoeal diseases. It also impacts vulnerable populations such as persons with disabilities and women, who are more exposed to sexual violence. Lack of private toilets in schools is a major reason why girls do not continue their education once they enter puberty.

Poor sanitation and water supply also result in economic losses estimated at $260 billion annually in developing countries.

World Toilet Day aims to change both behaviour and policy on issues ranging from enhancing water management to ending open-air defecation (which 1.1 billion people practice worldwide).


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