South East Euro-MP Catherine Bearder has today launched a European Toilet Declaration calling on all EU countries to back a global commitment on ensuring sanitation and drinking water everywhere by 2030.
More than 10 million children have died from preventable diseases caused by a lack of sanitation since 2000 and one in three of the world's population lacks access to a basic toilet.
The initiative, which marks the second UN-recognised World Toilet Day, aims to redress this situation and is backed by WaterAid, Unilever, WASH United and the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine.
The launch of the declaration comes at a time when crucial talks between countries are taking place to finalise the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a vital framework which will shape efforts to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
"Every day, 1,400 children needlessly die because they lack safe drinking water and a clean and private toilet. This tragic situation can and must be addressed. The EU must lead the way in ensuring that everyone, everywhere has access to safe water and an adequate toilet by 2030."
Margaret Batty, WaterAid's Global Director of Policy and Campaigns, said:
"No village, town, city or region has ever lifted itself out of poverty without the basic essential services of clean drinking water and sanitation being in place. From improving health, getting more out of education, to increasing productivity and aiding growth, access to these services is the cornerstone of a better life for everyone on the planet."