Founded on 19 November 2001, World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global non-profit committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO empowers individuals through education, training and building local marketplace opportunities to advocate for clean and safe sanitation facilities in their communities.
Breaking the silence on the sanitation crisis is at the heart of WTO’s efforts. WTO established World Toilet Day and the World Toilet Summit in 2001; this was followed by the World Toilet College in 2005. Through its various initiatives, WTO continues to provide an international platform for toilet associations, governments, academic institutions, foundations, UN agencies and corporate stakeholders to exchange knowledge and leverage media and corporate support in an effort to promote clean sanitation and public health policies.
On 24 July 2013, WTO achieved a key milestone for the global sanitation movement when 122 countries co-sponsored a UN resolution tabled by the Singapore government to designate 19 November, World Toilet Day as an official UN day.
World Toilet Organization was granted consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council in 2013. The silence surrounding the sanitation crisis is beginning to break as evidenced by the Sustainable Development Goal’s inclusion of sanitation on its global development agenda. Sustainable Development Goal #6 calls for universal access to adequate and equitable sanitation and the end of open defecation by 2030.
World Toilet Organization is one of the few organizations whose sole focus is on toilets and sanitation. Breaking the silence on the sanitation crisis is at the heart of what we do.
And here’s how we do it.
Brief History of WTO
We use them every day – at home, school, work, restaurants, shopping malls – yet we seldom talk about them. The silence around the issue of toilets and sanitation has deadly consequences.
Despite compelling evidence that shows the benefits and great returns of investing in sanitation, it continues to be an ‘unglamorous’ subject for many policy-makers. The area of water (an equally important subject), on the other hand, receives more funding and attention on the global development agenda.
This is slowly changing. In 2015, the United Nations came out with its new global agenda and its seventeen Sustainable Development Goals to achieve by 2030. Its sixth goal calls for the end of open defecation and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. This is an ambitious goal but one that we are striving to achieve given the detrimental consequences that arise from inadequate sanitation.
Around one billion people in our world today face the indignity of defecating in the open. A lack of clean and safe toilets at schools leads to higher dropout among girls once they reach puberty. Diarrhoeal diseases – a direct consequence of poor sanitation – kill more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.
Clean and safe toilets are prerequisites for health, dignity, privacy and education. The World Toilet Organization was established with the aim to break the taboo around toilets and the sanitation crisis. Since 2001, we have lobbied governments, public and private sector stakeholders and the international community to prioritize sanitation in the development agenda.
Through our initiatives – World Toilet Day, World Toilet Summit, World Toilet College and SaniShop – we continue to mobilise an international network of partners, supporters, donors, governments and international organisations to advocate for effective sanitation policies to ensure health, dignity and well-being for everyone, everywhere.
Mission & Vision
Our mission is to continue to build the global sanitation movement through collaborative action that inspires and drives demand for sanitation, and provides innovative solutions to achieve sustainable sanitation for all.
We do this through:
– Advocacy that mobilises people to action,
– Education, advisory and capacity building,
– And sustainable sanitation solutions, wherever possible taking a market-based approach.
Board of Directors
WTO Hall of Fame Laureates 2020
The WTO Hall of Fame Award recognises the achievements of individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the improvement of sanitation for humanity.