Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams raises her voice against global water inequality in WaterAid campaign for Human Rights Day

Posted by
Susan Springate
10 December 2019
United Kingdom, Our supporters
Maisie Williams

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With the fighting spirit worthy of Arya Stark, 22-year-old Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams is lending her voice to a stirring WaterAid film entitled Decade of Change, which looks back over the past ten years and celebrates key protest movements that are helping bring about real change. 

The film, which marks Human Rights Day on 10 December, shines a light on several campaigns, including the #MeToo movement, #BlackLivesMatter and #OccupyWallStreet, that have challenged gender, racial and economic inequality. 

International charity WaterAid is now calling on people to add their voice to their call for clean water and good sanitation for all.

Maisie Williams, who narrates the short film, said:

“Over the past decade, it’s been inspiring to see people unite around the world to fight injustices; now it’s time to challenge global water inequality. 

“I was appalled to learn that in 2019, nearly 800 million people around the world are denied access to clean water and a staggering 2 billion have no decent toilet.  That’s got to change. And Human Rights Day seems a good time to rally the troops, as this year marks a decade since access to water and sanitation was acknowledged as a human right.”

The UN declared clean water and decent sanitation as basic human rights in 2010, and five years later, world leaders announced their commitment to get everyone everywhere these basic facilities by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

British star Maisie is no stranger to activism and has spoken out on issues including climate change and the #MeToo movement. She has also praised the efforts of grassroots, on-the ground activists to make a difference – including her brother, who joined the Extinction Rebellion protests.

The award-winning actress added:

“I picked up my voice at a young age and I want to use it. I have witnessed how just one voice can grow into a movement and change the status quo. It is time we spoke up for the millions of people across the world who are still being denied access to their basic human right to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.”

Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s Chief Executive, said:

“We are delighted that Maisie Williams has lent her voice to WaterAid’s campaign, celebrating the progress made over the past decade and calling for action on the global water and sanitation crisis. 

“All of us have a part to play in helping make clean water and decent toilets part of normal life for everyone, everywhere by 2030. Having access to these basics can transform lives for good, improving health, education and livelihoods. We’d like to thank Maisie for her support in engaging more people in this important issue.”

The Decade of Change film is part of WaterAid’s Access Denied campaign, which aims to raise £2 million to help get clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene to some of the world’s poorest communities. 

The film can be previewed on YouTube here:


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Notes to Editors:


WaterAid is working to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation. The international not-for-profit organisation works in 28 countries to change the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 26.4 million people with clean water and 26.3 million people with decent toilets. For more information, visit, follow @WaterAid or @WaterAidPress on Twitter, or find WaterAid UK on Facebook at

  • 785 million people in the world – one in ten – do not have clean water close to home.[1]
  • 2 billion people in the world – almost one in four – do not have a decent toilet of their own.[2]
  • Around 310,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's almost 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes.[3]
  • Every £1 invested in water and toilets returns an average of £4 in increased productivity.[4]
  • Just £15 can provide one person with clean water.[5]

[1] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[2] WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2017 update and SDG Baselines

[3] Prüss-Ustün et al. (2014) and The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2018)

[4] World Health organization (2012) Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage