While a vast majority of the world's populationm or 6 billion people, 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).
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485