The World Toilet Association is an international organization dedicated to protecting lives through the improvement of sanitation through toilets. Held in Seoul, Korea on November 22, 2007, the Inaugural General Assembly hosted participants from over 66 countries, including government officials in the fields of sanitation and public health, representatives from NGOs and other international organizations, and industry representatives. They gathered to affirm the importance of toilets on humanity and discuss future plans for improving sanitation conditions throughout the world.
The World Toilet Association considers toilets to be essential to the proper disposal of waste and water management. With other international organizations, however, the subject of toilets is often eclipsed by broader social issues such as ‘sanitation’ or ‘public health.’ Considered a taboo topic in everyday parlance, toilets are typically alluded to, rather than referred to directly. By emphasizing the central and crucial role toilets play in daily life, proper sanitation, and hygiene, the WTA seeks to propel the topic of toilets to the forefront.
The WTA’s Key Message
- Toilets are the key to sanitation
- Toilets are a sanctuary for human life and dignity
- All humans have a right to access adequate toilet facilities
- Children, the disabled, and the elderly must be able to access and use toilets equally
- Future toilets must be eco-friendly in order to preserve the environment
- Toilet provisions should add benefit to the lives of local residents and they must be able to consistently maintain these facilities
- Provide and develop toilet facilities
- Emphasize the improvement and provision of toilets to international aid organizations
- Spread the importance of toilets through conferences, exhibitions, and education and training programs
- Enhance partnerships with the UN, other international organizations,and NGOs