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Testing the limits of water as a human right: A comparison of First Nations in Canada and Palestinian communities

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Researchers have long questioned if legally-framed efforts, such as the UN declaration of the Human Right to Water, are adequately framed to enable universal enjoyment of the right (Singh et al, 2016; Donnelly, 2006). This document investigates these questions around the realization of the human right to water by comparing First Nations Communities in Canada and Palestinian communities. I posit that both communities continue to face lower rates of water security as a result of settler colonialism, jurisdictional fragmentation and funding patterns. I discuss how these similarities can be related directly to shortcomings of the Human Right to water, specifically its nature as a derivative right, the hegemonic framework, and limited applicability on the ground. The objective of this research is to discuss the common barriers to water access facing these two groups and identify tools that can better serve marginalized communities in realizing the human right to water.
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