The news that hundreds of thousands of people will lose water supplies is not a stunning headline anymore – poor old Ukraine… or Iraq. However, this time, the ‘it couldn’t happen here’ crowd might be stunned to hear that it is happening right here in the liberal capital of America. Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department has begun turning off the taps of 150,000 residents who are at least two months behind on payments. As one advocate notes, “sick people have been left without running water and working toilets. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe, and parents cannot cook.”
But it must be a Third World country if the U.N. had to get involved.
Three U.N. human rights experts issued a statement on Wednesday, declaring that “disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights.”
“When I conducted an official country mission to the U.S. in 2011, I encouraged the U.S. government to adopt a federal minimum standard on affordability for water and sanitation and a standard to provide protection against disconnections for vulnerable groups and people living in poverty,” said Catarina de Albuquerque, who is the U.N.’s special rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. “I also urged the government to ensure due process guarantees in relation to water disconnection.”
One of the experts, Leilani Farha, who focuses on the right to housing, also pointed out the racial implications of shutting off water to the nearly 83 percent black population. “If these water disconnections disproportionately affect African Americans, they may be discriminatory, in violation of treaties the U.S. has ratified,” said Farha.
The experts declared that “households [that] suffered unjustified disconnections must be immediately reconnected.”
When was the last time the U.N. issued sanctions against an American municipality for human rights violations?
So people didn’t pay their bills… advocates claim demanding payment for services rendered is capitalist exploitation (and racist)… and now the UN agrees and says water is a right? Tell that to Cambodians and North Koreans.
Of course, given that this is a big part of the democrat voting block, I would be stunned if the Federal government did not create another new bailout fund to ‘help’ them out of this ‘unfairness’.