GENEVA (AP) — Residents of Flint, Michigan, may have had their human rights violated because of a lack of regular access to safe drinking water over the past two years, U.N. experts said Tuesday.
Three experts working with the U.N. human rights office in Geneva called on authorities to "map out a human rights complaint strategy" to make sure other parts of the U.S. don't face events like Flint's water crisis.
President Barack Obama will visit the city, which is grappling with effects of a lead-contaminated water supply, on Wednesday.
Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, decried the "high-handed and cavalier manner" in which decisions were made in Flint, alleging such choices wouldn't have been made if its population "was well-off or overwhelmingly white."
Flint Mayor Karen Weaver thanked the experts for highlighting the water crisis in the city.
"Many Flint residents, particularly seniors and working class residents, have raised questions about how their socio-economic status may have contributed to the decisions that led to the man-made water disaster in Flint," she said, adding that most of Flint's residents are still using bottled and filtered water.
"We continue to call on state lawmakers and Congress to pass appropriations needed for the City of Flint to recover," she said.