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The American Human Council (AHRC-USA) joins the rest of the human rights community in expressing its deep concern over the city of Flint’s water crisis and its impact on the citizens of Flint. The Flint water crisis is a serious public safety concern that merits serious and urgent attention. The root cause of the crisis should be identified and those responsible need to be held accountable.
The Flint water crisis is part of a bigger water crisis in Michigan. The ongoing Detroit water issue and the thousands of poor residents who could not afford to pay for the water services are left without water, a most basic human necessity.
Water is not just another market commodity, it is a public good and a public service of vital importance. This importance was recognized by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 641292 passed on 28 July 2010 designating water and sanitation as human rights. A human being cannot enjoy all the other human rights they have unless they have access to clean and affordable water. As identified by the UN, this water has to be “sufficient,” “safe,” “acceptable,” “physically accessible” and “affordable.” The crises in Flint and Detroit indicate that the State of Michigan is not paying enough attention to water as a human right to a significant number of Michigan citizens.
AHRC calls upon all Michigan elected officials to rise above partisanship and deal with this most basic of human right. There is also the hazardous waste disposal issue that should be handled fairly. AHRC calls upon the federal, state and local government to work together to bring these crises to a resolution.
“We are deeply troubled that the great State of Michigan is not providing all its citizens with access to safe and affordable water,” stated Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive director. “Water is not a fungible good, it is a common good and a public service, whether one is rich or poor, they have the human right of access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water- all goals set by the UN and applicable to all the nations on earth,” added Hamad.

For more on the UN and the human right to water and sanitation,
please visit: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.shtml

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