Sign our petition to the UN and stop sex for water

Being extorted to have sex in exchange for drinking water. It happens, and it's unacceptable!

Due to increasing water scarcity and a lack of water supplies, women are pressured to have sex in exchange for water. Sign our petition now and join us in letting the United Nations Special Rapporteur know that sex for water must stop.

Will you help us collect 80,000 signatures?

Sign the petition

The consequences of water scarcity

Climate change worsens access to water: droughts, but also floods damage water sources. In the cities, women and girls therefore queue for hours for a jerry can of water and in remote areas they walk for miles in search of water for their families.

The lengthy journeys and long waiting times mean that they cannot go to school or earn an income, but it also leads to sexual extortion.

Research shows that many women are harassed or sexually intimidated in line for water and that some women and girls are even forced to have sex with the men who manage the water points in exchange for water.

Sylvia Mwenesi (24), Kenya
"The water vendor said to me, 'All I want from you is your body. After that, you can get water.'"

Help out and stop sex for water!

We believe that everyone, everywhere in the world should have safe access to drinking water. Rising water scarcity due to climate change hits women the hardest. We demand that governments give greater priority to ensuring safe access to water for women and girls, and do all they can to eliminate the practice of sex for water.

Water is a human right and should never be used as a tool of corruption or sextortion. Women and girls must be protected from the extreme consequences of the water crisis. Therefore, we urge the UN Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo, to have research done on sextortion in relation to water and hold governments accountable for this terrible human rights violation.

Governments must take responsibility and be urged to eliminate sextortion. And we need your support. Will you sign the petition?

The facts

More than 2 billion people live in countries with water shortages, 27% of the world's population does not have access to a safe water supply.

Women and girls are responsible for fetching water in 7 out of 10 households without their own water supply.

In Bangladesh, 15 percent of women experience sexual and gender-based violence when they want to use water, shower or toilet. A third of this is a form of sextortion.

Every signature helps

Will you help us reach the 80,000 signatures mark? With this we want to make an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation, Pedro Arrojo-Agudo. He is in the position to hold governments accountable for this terrible human rights violation. Governments must take responsibility. Only then can we stop sex for water.

In 2023, more than 27,000 people signed our petition. We presented this to the Dutch parliament. This caused the horrific consequences of the water crisis for women to be raised by Members of Parliament in the Climate Debate.

A motion was tabled to call on the government to "ensure, in the face of climate change, that the Dutch commitment in the water sector continues to serve women and girls in the most vulnerable areas and that the right to drinking water and sanitation is not compromised". This motion was passed with broad support by the House of Representatives.

The Dutch Water Envoy Meike van Ginneken also signed the petition. But we want global action! That's why we are going international with our petition in 2024.

Stop sex for water!

Let your voice be heard. Because sex for water is unacceptable.

What is the role of the Special Rapporteur?

The role of the UN Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation is to monitor worldwide how the universal human rights to water and sanitation are being implemented. He is in the position to hold governments accountable for human rights violations. Only then can we stop sex for water.

The Special Rapporteur receives complaints and takes action based on them. Country missions are carried out, in which countries are personally visited by the Special Rapporteur. The Special Rapporteur conducts on-site investigations and interviews with various people and civil society organisations.

At the end of a country mission, the Special Rapporteur announces his conclusions and draws up a report for the United Nations with recommendations for governments. These recommendations can be used to increase the pressure on governments, for example by the partners we work with.

What is sextortion?

Sextortion is a form of extortion or corruption in which people abuse their positions of power to obtain sexual services from women or girls. This could include water vendors, water point managers or government employees.

Sextortion comes in several forms, including the practice where women in parts of Africa and Asia are induced or forced to have sex to gain access to water. Sex for water is unacceptable and must stop.


Do you have questions about this petition? If so, please take a look at these frequently asked questions.

Esther Oeganda

Everybody has the human right to safe water and sanitation.

Take action