Youth-friendly brochure HYGIENE MUCH launched

Recognizing that young people are at the core of action on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), the European Environment and Health Youth Coalition, with support from WHO/Europe, launched in September 2015 a new brochure HYGIENE MUCH to support safe WASH in schools. The brochure aims to engage youth in daily hand washing and menstrual hygiene, and to raise their awareness of the importance of functioning sanitary facilities.

This youth-friendly brochure addresses students of all ages and describes different problems that young people experience when using WASH facilities in schools. It provides health facts and memorable tips and tricks in a humorous way to practice proper hygiene.

Children's right to WASH

Access to safe drinking-water and sanitation is a recognized human right. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child includes a call to countries to provide clean drinking-water, hygiene and sanitation to each child.

WASH is essential for the healthy development and growth of children around the world. Adequate and safe WASH facilities in schools prevent waterborne disease, contribute to a positive learning environment and outcomes, and promote life-long hygiene behaviours. WASH in schools is a priority in the recently adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Protocol on Water and Health serves as framework

HYGIENE MUCH was launched in the framework of the WHO and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Protocol on Water and Health. The Protocol is a key policy instrument that supports the implementation of the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health's target to provide "each child with access to safe water and sanitation in homes, child care centres, kindergartens, schools, health care institutions and public recreational water settings by 2020, and to revitalize hygiene practices".

For the first time, improving WASH in schools was identified as one of the priority areas for action for 2014–2016 at the third session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health (Oslo, Norway, November 2013).