Renee Camille Hatcher, clinical teaching fellow with the University of Baltimore’s Community Development Clinic, spoke Jan. 21 at a Baltimore meeting of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent.
The United Nations team, on a 10-day fact-finding trip to the United States, met with government officials, leaders of nongovernmental organizations and people of African descent in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, New York and Jackson, Miss.
At the local meeting, Hatcher addressed a range of topics concerning community development and race, particularly the issue of water shutoffs to poor city households unable to pay their water bills.
In 2015, between April and the end of October, more than 8,000 Baltimore households had their water service shut off, Hatcher reports. The shutoffs, which are prohibited during the winter by state regulation, are set to resume this April.
Access to clean water is a basic human right, according to the United Nations.
UB’s Community Development Clinic has been working on a “right to water” project. Students are conducting research and gathering information for a human-rights complaint that will be submitted to the UN.
CDC student-attorneys Karina Granados, Lauren Tucker, Zach Hansen and Anthony Fadel served as note-takers at the UN fact-finding meeting, which was held at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center on North Howard Street.