In 2019, the theme of World Toilet Day is “Leaving no one behind” and focuses on marginalized groups. On the occasion of the day, the exhibition Sanitation work: light at the end of the tunnel? has been produced to draw attention to the plight and resilience of sanitation workers. Sanitation workers provide an essential public service around the world. It is a service everyone relies on but which far too often comes at the cost of the health, safety and dignity of those workers. Their jobs often exist in an informal economy without basic labour protections or rights. They are often invisible, unquantified, neglected and ostracised – facing conditions that expose them to debilitating infections, injuries and social stigma.

This exhibition is based on a forthcoming report on sanitation workers by the International Labour Organization, WaterAid, the World Bank Group and the World Health Organization. The report is titled The Health, Safety and Dignity of Sanitation Workersand will be launched in relation to the World Toilet Day.