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UN responds to Detroit water cut-offs

DETROIT (WKZO) -- United Nations experts are calling Detroit's decision to cut-off water to residents a human rights violation. On Wednesday, the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights issued a press release from Geneva in response to reports that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is cutting off water access to thousands of residents in the city.

The water department is reportedly shutting off water to residents who have not paid their bills. According to three experts cited in the press release, disconnections due to non-payment are only permissible if it can be shown that the resident is able to pay but is not. International human rights law requires governments to take urgent measures to ensure access to water and sanitation.

The response was provoked after a coalition of welfare rights groups appealed to the UN to help Detroit residents who are having their water shut off.