Realising the Human Right to Water in Costa Rica through Social Movements



This article examines human rights from the perspective of social constructions and as the result of historical processes. This means that human rights, as we know them today, are the result of dynamic and historical struggles. This is no different with regard to the human right to water. In particular, this article addresses the following research question: how interwoven are social movements with the realisation of the human right to water? While answering this question the article brings to the discussion some relations between the human right to water and the idea of sustainable development. This article focuses on Costa Rica because it is a country that has long been celebrated as a leader in sustainable development, environmental policy, and protection of natural resources. Recently, however, Costa Rica became the world’s number one exporter of pineapple. The shocking growth of pineapple plantations in recent years has caused innumerable socio-environmental problems including that of water pollution. The article concludes that demanding the realisation of the human right to water through social struggles, and especially through social organisation and pressuring the government, is the way forward to accomplish this right and the ultimate goal of sustainable development.


social movementsright to waterCosta Ricasocial organisationpineapple monoculture
  • Year: 2020
  • Volume: 16 Issue: 2
  • Page/Article: 96-109
  • DOI: 10.36633/ulr.561
  • Published on 30 Oct 2020
  • Peer Reviewed