WSCF Water Justice Campaign

February 21, 2011

World Student Christian Federation’s Water Justice Campaign –
Please share widely

“Let justice roll down like a river, and righteousness like an
ever-flowing stream.” Amos 5:24

The WSCF’s Advocacy and Solidarity Committee (ASC) is
challenging SCMs across the Federation to take part in our first
global campaign on Water Justice. Inspired by students’ global
engagement with the WSCF’s 2010 advocacy theme of climate
justice, the ASC along with the WSCF Executive Committee is
launching the Water Justice Campaign.

As stewards of Creation, water reminds us to connect to most
basic elemental level. We recognize that water is a real,
universal need and that connects all of God’s world. As
Christians, we know that water is a powerful symbol of our thirst
for justice, of the power of the Holy Spirit, and of the
Wellspring of life in Jesus Christ. As student activists, we see
that due to human action, water scarcity, water pollution and
water commercialization and privatization are serious threats to
our fellow people of Earth_ the poor, the oppressed, and the
marginalized, with whom we are called to walk in solidarity.

The World Water Day slated on March 22, 2011 is our official
worldwide launch of the campaign, which this year will also mark
the Universal Day of Prayer for Students (UDPS). The World Water
Day which is also declared by the United Nations, can be
maximized and can be taken to herald the issue of water
deprivation and raise awareness among our students, movements and
communities. This we hope can be sustained in years of advocacy
as our students look deeper into water justice issues and its
impact on our local communities and in-contexts and connections
with survival, sustainability, equality and justice.

How can we launch the Water Justice Campaign on the World Water
Here are some suggestions:

● Use UDPS liturgy on Water Justice theme, to be published
this year by the World Student Christian Federation in
partnership with the Ecumenical Water Network

● Challenge SCMs across the Federation to stage a “flash
mob freeze” on their local campuses to highlight the issue of
water justice, and encourage other creative symbolic actions

● We ask that students come together at a place that
highlights local or global water issues with signs/slogans on
water as a human right, water scarcity, water privatization and
control, conflict and for one minute freeze in place, to call
attention to these important issues.

Sample slogans we can use:
1. WATER is a Human Right (to highlight water as fundamental
need and human right)
2. We Thirst for JUSTICE! Water is a Right! (to stress
scarcity of water/privatization )
3. Giant DAMs = Environment DAMage (to connect on dam/water
privatization, environment degradation and displacement of
4. Peoples/Public Control NOT Corporate Control on Water!

● Hold a forum, discussion on the issues of Water Justice
to raise awareness and create concern among students, ecumenical
youth network, and local communities

Although this is a global campaign to highlight that the water
crisis is not only a local issue as the media and
political/business elites often portray, but a world-wide
problem, students are encouraged to make this campaign relevant
to their local contexts.

We encourage students partaking in this action to take pictures
and videos and share them with the rest of the Federation through
WSCF Connection and with the Interregional Office in Geneva. The
campaign will aim to trigger conversations and reflections on how
the water crisis is affecting local realities, indigenous people,
marginalized communities and need for governments to genuinely
respond to it.

Sustaining the Water Justice Campaign. In order to respond in a
sustained way, the federation had organized a Water Justice Task
Force which will help in guiding our campaign and advocacy on
this issue.

● Water Task Force also challenges SCMs across the
Federation to collect “water testimonies”, stories of local
water issues, struggles and campaigns. The Water Task Force will
collect these stories into a book of testimonies to be published
at the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Kingston,
Jamaica in May 2011. These testimonies will showcase how the
fight for water justice is both global and local, both unique and
universal. Through these stories we can see and work toward a
world where all may truly be one.
● It would be important for local SCMs to partner with
groups and alliances already working on water issues to become
part of advocacy groups putting pressure on water corporations
and governments on water as a human right.
● Suggestion for students to start a local campaign to
pressure their local municipality (or join a group that is
already advocating this) to approve a water justice declaration
and/or work on keeping/reverting their privatized water system to
be public.
● Encourage students to inquire with their universities
what they have done to conserve water and whether it would be
feasible to make the campus a bottle water free zone (obviously
if the sanitary conditions of the local context allow for it).
● The WSCF also exhort local and national SCMs and WSCF
region to plan water pilgrimages to educate students on water
issue, visit communities affected by water shortage and reflect
theologically on water abundance/scarcity.

This two-year campaign will intertwine with the 2011 and 2012
WSCF advocacy themes of Overcoming Violence and Economic Justice,
as we recognize that water is inextricably linked to these issues
of mining justice, gender justice, land justice and indigenous
rights. We invite SCMs to explore the interconnections between
these themes, and to use these themes as they incorporate the
Water Justice campaign to their local context.

Announcement: The Water Justice Taskforce is open to volunteers.