Monday, a US federal judge ruled that water will continue to be cut off to disadvantaged residents of Detroit, Michigan. Water has been cut off to “50,000 low-income households since January 2013 and continues at the pace of 400 households a day.”
Shutoffs will continue, the judge said, because there is no such thing as a “fundamental right” to water.
He added that access to water is “based on ability to pay.”
The rulings from the US federal representative are violations of international human rights law.
On July 18, 2014, Amnesty International, the world’s largest and most respected human rights organization, stated:
Detroit: Access to Essential Water is a Human Right
The disconnection of water service to households which are struggling in Detroit’s current economy and cannot pay their water bill is a violation of the right to water.
It is imperative that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department restore service of water to any occupied home or residence…
According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Leilani Farha, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, and the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, “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.”
...impoverished families [are having] their water shut off … even as sports arenas, a golf course and half the city’s commercial users – all also behind on payments to the tune of $30 million—have reportedly not received notices…
The rights to water and sanitation require that they be available, accessible, safe, acceptable and affordable for all without discrimination. According to international human rights law, it is the State’s obligation to provide urgent measures, including financial assistance, to ensure access to essential water and sanitation. States are required to ensure everyone’s access to a sufficient amount of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses, defined as water for drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene.
Also condemning the criminal US federal assertion that access to water is based on the ability to pay, the 2014 UN Development Report asserted that “access to certain basic elements of a dignified life ought to be delinked from people’s ability to pay. … The state has the primary responsibility to extend social services to the entire population, in a basic social contract between citizens and state”, and called for “universal access to basic social services“.
As the USA cuts off water to its own poor people and keeps water flowing to rich residents who are also behind on payments (not to mention almost completely subsidizes and bails out corporate billionaires who fail in the free market through criminality and recklessness), the USA is illegally (and frighteningly) devoting massive amounts of tax dollars to its global violence and domination expansion enterprises.
Thousands of examples can be cited. Here are two (and see here for more):
1) The USA is currently illegally committing 1 to 1.5 trillion dollars (the most of any regime ever) to nuclear bomb development, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires immediate disarmament.
The US is the world’s biggest stockpiler of WMD and biggest violator of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (more info here).
2) The USA is also committing hundreds of millions (most likely billions) of dollars to try to overthrow Syria using both proxy and US forces, in violation of international law and the UN charter, in part of a terrorism campaign the US has ceaselessly waged against Syria since 1948.
Declaration on Principles of International Law, concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States (October 24, 1970)
No State shall organize, assist, foment, finance, incite or tolerate subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed towards the violent overthrow of the regime of another State, or interfere in civil strife in another State.
Article 2, UN Charter:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.
Finally, here are examples of the USA’s globally isolated stance of shameless rejection of nourishment as a human right:
- A 1981 UN General Assembly resolution declaring that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights went 135 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
- A 1982 UN General Assembly resolution declaring that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights went 131 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
- A 1983 UN General Assembly resolution declaring that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights went 132 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
- Under the Clinton administration, in 1996, a United Nations-sponsored World Food Summit affirmed the “right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food”. The United States took issue with this, insisting that it does not recognize a “right to food”. (William Blum)
- A 2007 UN General Assembly vote affirming the human right to food went 186 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
- A 2008 UN General Assembly vote affirming the human right to food went 184 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
Once Obama assumed power, the UN stopped voting on right-to-food resolutions, saving the Nobel “Peace” winner the embarrassment of having to reject them. However, with the Obama regime in power, the UN has voted on the right to water:
- A 2010 UN General Assembly vote affirming the human right to water went 122 to 0, with the USA abstaining.
Obama’s global isolationism and democracy shunning also includes dozens of resolutions condemning Israeli/US war crimes, ethnic cleansing, extermination and annexation operations against the Palestinians, such as:
- A 2009 General Assembly Resolution calling on an end to [US/]Israeli “Operation Cast Lead”, which killed at least 1,400 Palestinians, almost all civilians. The vote went 142 to 4.
- A 2011 UN Security Council (15 members) resolution calling for a halt to the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in the illegally Israeli-Occupied West Bank of Palestine. The vote went 14 to 1, Obama the sole “NO” vote.
Robert Barsocchini is an investigative journalist focusing on global force dynamics. He also writes professionally for the film industry. Here is his blog. Also see his free e-book, Whatever it Takes – Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities. Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.