In a move designed to highlight the humanitarian crisis caused by the spread of diarrhoea, the UN is pushing the world to boycott products made from human waste.
In an open letter to the world on Thursday, the United Nations said the “urgent” need to stop the production of diapers from human faeces is “a human rights violation”.
The letter was signed by the heads of UN agencies including the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and the World Health Organization.
The World Food Program said the UN had “overstated the urgency” of the problem and said it was “critical” that the UN’s report on the problem be updated “as quickly as possible”.
“The UN’s efforts to reach a global agreement to prohibit the production and use of human faac and other non-renewable resources, including waste products, for non-food purposes must be commensurate with the severity of the current situation,” it said.
“We call on all member states to ensure the UN report on this issue is updated as soon as possible so that it becomes an international standard.”
It called on countries to “immediately ban or restrict the export of all products made of human waste and/or other materials derived from human bodies”.
The UN is trying to reach an agreement in Geneva on a global ban on the use of faecal products, which would include the use or sale of products made with human waste, in response to the global epidemic of diarrhea caused by diarrhea-related diarrhoeas.
But in a statement, the World Trade Organisation said it “welcomes” the UN effort to “protect the rights of all” but was “confident that there will be significant difficulties in this process”.
The WTO said it supported the UN and its efforts to promote the global ban, saying: “This is an important first step in the global effort to tackle the humanitarian and environmental impacts of diarrhoeal diseases.”