Groups Seek UN Help to Restore Detroit Water Service

Several groups have appealed to the United Nations to help Detroit residents who had their water shut off for nonpayment, saying that the mass water shutoffs leave poor people and families in the city at risk, the Associated Press reported. Three U.N. experts who responded to a letter sent by the organizations said the shutoffs could constitute a violation of the human right to water if the residents were unable to pay for the service. "When there is genuine inability to pay, human rights simply forbids disconnections," said human right to water and sanitation expert, Catarina de Albuquerque, in a statement issued from the United Nations in Geneva. Detroit's water department is responsible for about a third of the city's $18 billion debt.

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