Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Water in the U.S.
On Monday April 4, 2016, members of the US Human Rights Network coordinated National Human Rights to Water and Sanitation Coalition shared powerful and heartbreaking stories of the lack of clean and safe water and sanitation in their lives and those of their families and communities. They talked about water contamination and the harmful health impacts in their communities; astronomical water rate increases and the lack of affordable water; criminalization of people who cannot afford water and sanitation services; and the lack of adequate sanitation in communities across the United States. Yet in response, the US government ignored the testimony of the people sitting directly across from them to congratulate itself on water assistance around the world, while falling silent on the water crisis facing people in the U.S.
Throughout the entire testimony from the U.S. government, not a single government representative responded to the stories, crises, and conditions presented before them by their own residents. They sat across from U.S. civil society and reiterated multiple times that they are not legally obligated to ensure the human rights to water and sanitation; nor is it the federal government’s responsibility to ensure water and sanitation – all of the problems are at the hands of local and state officials and agencies. This utter lack of response to the painful truth of what we came to share was astonishing and painful.
Watch the full video