Water

Sisters of Bon Secours of Paris

Water is a Human Right and a Public Good

We, Women of Healing, commit ourselves to defend and care for all of creation; to cry out with others against injustice and all that diminishes life on Earth.

(Mission Focus Statement Sisters of Bon Secours, Chapter 2009, Rome, Italy)

Rooted in our cherished heritage of healing, compassion and liberation, and steeped in the commitment expressed by Mere Geay, “It is for the poor that I have the greatest concern”, We, Sisters of Bon Secours and Bon Secours Associates throughout the world AFFIRM:

  • Water is a sacred gift that connects all life.
  • Access to clean water is a basic human right.
  • The value of the earth’s freshwater to the common good takes priority over any possible commercial value.
  • Freshwater is a shared legacy, a public trust and a collective responsibility.

Therefore, as members of the Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours of Paris, we commit ourselves to do what we can in our personal and communal lives and in our spheres of influence to educate ourselves and others so that we might take action.

WE SUPPORT actions and policies that:

  • Ensure universal access to sufficient, affordable, safe water for all people, especially the most vulnerable.
  • Protect freshwater as a sustainable, renewable resource.
  • Implement the objectives of the UN Millennium Goals and Rio + 20 commitments on water.

WE OPPOSE actions and policies that:

  • Endanger the world’s supply of freshwater.
  • Deprive humans and other species access to adequate, safe water essential for life.
  • Favor the privatization of water as a commodity to be bought and sold for profit when in reality it is a heritage we all hold in common.

Approved, October 2013

This statement is adapted from the Congregation of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and the Sisters of the Holy Cross, with permission.

Sisters of Charity of Nazareth

We, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Family
affirm that water is a fundamental,
inalienable human right.
Earth’s freshwater is limited and essential
for a just and sustainable world.
Water, as a human right and a common good,
cannot be bought, sold or traded
as a commodity.
Therefore, we will study and support actions and policies that:
  • ensure access to sufficient, safe and affordable water for all people, especially women and children in regions suffering currently from scarcity of water;
  • protect freshwater as a sustainable, renewable resource.
We will study and oppose actions and policies that:
  • endanger/pollute the world’s supply of freshwater;
  • deprive humans and other species access to adequate, safe water essential for life;
  • privatize and commodify global water resources.

Sisters of the Holy Cross, Notre Dame, IN

RATIONALE

Because we know that:

  • Access to clean water in sufficient amounts is absolutely essential for human life and health.
  • Freshwater is a limited resource: only 2.5 percent of Earth’s total water supply is freshwater and less than 1 percent of that is usable in a renewable fashion.
  • The world’s finite supply of accessible freshwater is so polluted, diverted and depleted that millions of people and other species are deprived of water for life.
  • Lack of access to adequate freshwater increases the likelihood of violent conflict between nations.
  • Commodification of freshwater and privatization of water services typically decrease accessibility of clean affordable water for poor persons and countries.
  • Water is explicitly recognized as a human right in the General Comment on the Right to Water adopted by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) in November 2002.
  • John Paul II and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace assert that access to safe water is an inalienable human right.

Because we believe that

  • Water is a sacred gift:  the lifeblood of Earth and rightful inheritance of Earth and all species.
  • Water is a public good and all sectors of society should be involved in decision-making regarding its protection, management and distribution.
  • Catholic Social Teaching and our commitment to the Earth Charter call us to take personal and collective responsibility for safeguarding the world’s freshwater and ensuring its equitable distribution.

We endorse the following Corporate Stand.

Corporate Stand Statement

The Sisters of the Holy Cross affirm that:

  • Access to clean water is a fundamental, inalienable human right.
  • Earth’s freshwater is:
    • a shared legacy;
    • a common good;
    • a public trust; and
    • a collective responsibility.
  • As an essential element of life, freshwater must not be treated as a private commodity to be bought, sold and traded for profit.

Therefore, we support actions and policies that:

  • ensure access to sufficient, affordable, safe water for all people, especially the most vulnerable; and
  • protect freshwater as a sustainable, renewable resource.

We oppose actions and policies that

  • endanger the world’s supply of freshwater;
  • deprive humans and other species access to adequate, safe water essential for life; and
  • commodify and privatize the global water commons.

For more information on the Sisters of the Holy Cross work on water: Click Here