DETROIT- On Sunday, October 19, 2014, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) was a panelist at a town hall meeting attended by two officials with the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, Leilani Farha, special rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, and Catarina de Albuquerque, special rapporteur on the human right to water and sanitation.
During the town hall meeting, the U.N. officials listened to testimonies from individuals who are experiencing shutoffs and met with local elected officials. At a press conference , the U.N. officials called for cessation of water shutoffs in Detroit, citing the act violates international human rights law and poses a risk to public health.
John Conyers, Jr.
“With its location on the Great Lakes and extensive sanitation systems, Detroit should have access to plentiful and inexpensive water. Yet, due to an overzealous and wrongheaded approach to cost-cutting, many Detroiters have been denied access to this essential resource,” said Rep. John Conyers. “In addition to strong advocacy to local officials in defense of water rights, I am continuing to make the case to state and federal officials that resources from Michigan’s multimillion Hardest Hit Fund should be invested in upgrades to our water system. In the 21st Century, in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should go without safe, clean, public water.”
Conyers added, “I applaud Maureen Taylor of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and others for holding this important hearing on the devastating consequences of water shutoffs for Detroit residents. I am so pleased that the hearing,presented to a full house at Wayne County Community College’s downtown campus, garnered major media attention and helped drive a national conversation regarding access to water. As the United Nations Special Rapporteur noted, denying access to water to those who are unable to pay is a violation of international human rights law and could cause a regional public health crisis that could impact the most vulnerable among us, particularly infants and seniors.”Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©