It is a fact that on this world no man, animal or plant should have a shortage of food.
It is a human right that every human being should take care that the other human being would have enough food to stay alive and still leave enough food for animals and plants.This food exists of all the materials necessary to keep the body going in good health. For this we need healthy air and clean water to be able to grow the vegetables and to provide a healthy habitat for plants and animals.
The right to food has been established and endorsed with greater urgency than most other human rights. In 1948, when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it was given formal recognition as a human right (article 25.1). Since then, the right to food, or some aspects of it, has been incorporated into a variety of binding and non-binding international human rights instruments. Among them, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights(the Covenant) is the instrument that deals most comprehensively with this fundamental human right.
The 1996 World Food Summit and its follow up clarified the content of the right to food through the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and FAO. Better ways of implementing the right were developed, notably through the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (Right to Food Guidelines).
We may not loose out of sight that the right to food is legally binding on the 160 states parties to the Covenant, Article 2 of which obliges state parties to take steps, in particular legislative measures, for the progressive realization of the rights contained in the Covenant.
The right to adequate food and the fundamental right to be free from hunger were reaffirmed by the 1996 World Food Summit, which also called for better ways of implementing the rights related to food and encouraged all states to ratify the Covenant.
The World Food Summit: five years later established the mandate of an Intergovernmental Working Group to draft a set of Voluntary Guidelines to Support
the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. The Guidelines were then adopted by consensus by the FAO Council in 2004. These Guidelines recommend constitutional and legislative action as well as coordinated institutional frameworks to address the cross-sectoral dimensions of the right to food.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has been providing support to countries wishing to adopt a human rights-based approach to food security since 2006. Legislative action is one essential part of such a human rights approach.
Indeed, a number of countries have recently revised their constitutions or adopted new framework laws to give effect to the right to food. However, the body of knowledge and experiences in this field are limited.
As with all human rights, the greatest challenge with respect to the right to food is finding the most effective ways of implementing it – that is, how this right can be given concrete effect at the national level and how public authorities can be held accountable for their action or inaction.
In Europe we seem to have some stable agricultural economics and most countries can provide enough food for their people. The State Members should feel obliged to “take steps, individually and through international assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its available resources, with a view to achieving
progressively the full realization of the rights recognized in the present Covenant by
all appropriate means, including particularly the adoption of legislative measures” (According to Article 2.1 of the ICESCR) Perhaps the European Parliament should force the treaty provisions to be implemented by national legislation to have binding effect or could have the individual Member States amending relevant domestic laws to make them consistent with treaty obligations. The incorporation of the right to food in a domestic legal system by means of legislative action can provide a high level of protection for this human right. Thus any person considering that his or her right to food has been violated – in its accessibility, availability or adequacy component – can rely on such a legal provision and claim an appropriate remedy or redress before the competent administrative or judicial authorities. This would make it possible that the fragile in our community would be able to feel some more protection.
Effective enjoyment of an economic and social right – even if constitutionally or statutorily recognized – is not possible without effective policy and programme follow-up. The fragility of the members of the community can be broken when the system shall provide a healthy environment were they can find enough means to adequately feed themselves with the proper nutrients.
From the top all relevant sectoral legislation affecting the availability, accessibility and adequacy of food has to be kept under control. For this there should also be a visible way to take measures in case companies or organisations do not want to keep to the relevant laws, which shall have to affect full range from production and marketing of food, product labelling and consumer protection, food safety, education, social security and labour to trade and natural resources.
The principle of human dignity requires public authorities to ensure that measures affecting people’s livelihoods and the capacity to realize their right to food are carried out in a way that respects them and their dignity. Empowerment means a change in power relations within a society and between a government and its people; it requires authorities to give people a choice and to enable them to influence and exert control over decisions affecting their livelihood.Fragility, dignity and hunger should become a federal government priority. But it cannot be tackled in just each country without taking into account the work of the other countries. The use of land, water and air is a matter of the whole European Union in contexts of the Global picture. It shall demand active involvement of all governmental departments that may be affected. Government stakeholders should be balanced by private actors, who should also participate actively in the drafting process. A law on the right to food can affect many different constituencies. Broad participation ensures that a wide range of interests and concerns related to the realization of the right to food are taken into consideration in the draft law. It helps law and policy-makers to identify all the possible consequences and impacts that enforcement of the framework law may have. It can also reveal weaknesses, gaps and conflicts in the existing legislation, or other possible obstacles to the full enjoyment of the right to food. A well-designed and implemented consultation process can also contribute to improving the credibility and legitimacy of government action, winning the support of groups involved in the decision-making process and increasing acceptance by those affected.
If lack of access to natural resources and/or extensive discriminatory practices have been identified as being among the main obstacles to the enjoyment of the right to food in a country, a framework law could list undertaking agrarian reform, eliminating and preventing discrimination (i.e. identifying individuals, communities and groups discriminated against and adopting appropriate special measures) or raising level of education, training and access to opportunities for the most vulnerable individuals. Where the situations is particularly difficult, eradication of hunger and malnutrition may be determined as a specific objective to pursue as a priority, or ensuring that emergency situations that threaten mass access to food are anticipated, mitigated and addressed with equity and speed.
Economists and others rightly point out that the world has much unused capacity for producing food. If poor countries and poor people had greater purchasing power, they argue, then more food would be produced and made available.
All people should made aware that for agriculture, there are biological limits to yields, diminishing returns, and associated problems from the extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides. To protect the human person we should avoid all the chemicals which can be a treat for future generations, men but also plants and animals. Lots of hazards, we encounter today are instigated by people before us who were not so much concerned about the safety of nature. Many new plant and animal diseases are here today because of us being not careful. The same for increased ultraviolet radiation, air pollution, climate change, and sea-level rise. Things brought to us and the next generation because previous generation overlooked the dangers of their actions.
There are also socio-economic constraints of inadequate markets, infrastructure and research investment, and limited access by poor farmers to land, capital, and technology.
Robert W. Kates thinks there are alternatives to these specific biophysical and socio-economic limitations. Agricultural scientists are quick to point out at least four major opportunities for increasing the food supply: (1) the unrealized potential to increase yields from the application of current techniques and technologies; (2) the possibilities provided by the biotechnological revolution that is now underway; (3) the development of organic and sustainable agriculture techniques; and (4) the opportunity to reduce food losses and to increase efficiency in the preparation and use of food. Trebling or quadrupling global food production is within the range of the possible. But to do so, much that is different will need to happen in farmers’ fields, in research institutions, in agricultural markets, and in the households that consume the food produced.
As the world population exceeds 7 billion people, we must ensure that all are armed with the skills to leverage the vast powers of information technology to improve their lives and that they know what they can do to nature and how to provide possible means to feed themselves.
Global climate change offers a cruel paradox: The poorest people on earth contribute least to climate change but are likely to suffer its worst consequences since they have the fewest resources to adapt and respond. Climate change with increasing water scarcity, food insecurity, frequency and intensity of natural disasters, migration and conflict over declining resources will exacerbate the challenges felt by people in poverty and a growing world population.
A central moral measure of our response to climate change is how it touches poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad. Those who have faith and believe in the Creator and the Plans He has with the globe, should be fully aware that it is their task to help others to be able to live in an acceptable healthy world for all. Gods hope and our hope should be balanced by our attitude to His creation. Taking care of the environment and not using damaging products should leave possibilities to have healthier products, less allergies and less negative side effects. Though perhaps the quantity shall not be as much as with a lot of chemicals but the quality shall be better the more.
Those who do not believe in a supernatural God should know that even when they do not believe nor accept the Laws of God, the Mozaic Law or the Ten commandements, there should be natural laws to respect and to keep to. Human rights obligations do not or not yet, as such, bind non-state actors as a matter of international law. However, the obligation to protect human rights to which they have committed themselves requires states to ensure that the activities of private persons or entities do not impair the enjoyment of the right to food of individuals.
Indeed, the international human rights treaty bodies have generally confirmed that adopting appropriate legislation to prevent and address third-party abuse of human rights is among states’ minimum obligations under the treaties in order to fulfil the duty to protect.
All concerned people who want to live in a healthy climate and would like their children live happy, should do all the effort to protect this world and all inhabitants, plants, animals and humans. We all should encourage people around us to care for creation and the poor by reducing their carbon footprint and advocating for climate policies that bring together care for creation and for “the least of these.”
We can not wait for tomorrow. The time has passed to wait any longer. It is now that we have to prepare for the future with a focus on preventive health, finding better ways to take advantage of the productive and other assets of older populations, and moving toward simpler and less energy- and resource-intensive lifestyles than today’s. In our search to alternative energy and products we should not repeat the same fault as the previous generations not doing enough research on the safety for the next generations.
Those products we would like to continuing using may not overtax our system. Therefore we have to channel most of our aid and intellectual resources in support of smallholder farming revolutions and making poor people aware that they also are owners of their own destiny.
The world can no longer afford to follow the same economic and social model of insatiable demand and consumption and concentration of consumption and wealth in a few hands — a phenomenon that is now spreading in developing countries. We can not tolerate continuation of 20 percent of humanity consuming 80 percent of the world’s goods and services, while one-fifth of the poorest consume only 1.3 percent.
Download the pdf publications:
1. Guide on legislating for the right to food (4 MB)
2. Methods to monitor the human right to adequate food – Vol I (565 KB)
2. Methods to monitor the human right to adequate food – Vol II (1,2 MB)
3. Guide to conducting a right to food assessment (1.7 MB)
4. Right to food curriculum outline (2.3 MB)
5. Budget work to advance the right to food (3.9 MB)
- Why Food Security May Not Be Achieved Before 2020 in Nigeria (foodsecuritysm.wordpress.com)
Many Nigerians are saying agriculture is not performing the expected roles as much desired, and every attempt to unravel the reason (s) for this unfortunate situation has been attracting attention, yet, without a concrete solution.
- Report | FAO: High and volatile food prices are likely to continue (danielberhane.wordpress.com)
Climate change and an increased frequency of weather shocks, increased linkages between energy and agricultural markets due to growing demand for biofuels, and increased financialization of food and agricultural commodities all suggest that price volatility is here to stay.
- [Video] The Covenants – youtube (dars0357.wordpress.com)
- China developing human rights with socialist characteristics (redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com)
China has achieved the historic leap from barely having enough food and clothes to being fairly well off.
- FAO-Italy project seeks to head off future problems in the Nile Basin / New information on agricultural water use will support better planning, prevent future food insecurity(appablog.wordpress.com)FAO-Italy project seeks to head off future problems in the Nile Basin / New information on agricultural water use will support better planning, prevent future food insecurity
- UN body delays efforts to regulate “land grabs” (foodsecuritysm.wordpress.com)
A U.N. intergovernmental body on food security has failed to adopt international guidelines on land governance, delaying efforts to regulate so-called land-grabbing as investors race to snap up agricultural land.
- 1 Billion and Counting!!!! (carestia.wordpress.com)
Food is a moral right that should be accessible by all those who inhabit this earth and it is immoral to allow men women and children to starve while nations waste food in excessive proportions. Regardless of the great strides, we have made as a species on this earth we have undoubtedly made and are still making horrific negligent acts against humanity.
Currently more than 1 Billion people are chronically hungry. Today, in the twenty-first century hunger is killing more people than diseases. How is this possible, that so many persons are starving when there is so much food wasted each day here in the United States? “Official surveys indicate that every year more than 350 billion pounds (160 billion kg) of edible food is available for human consumption in the United States. Of that total, nearly 100 billion pounds (45 billion kg) — including fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, and grain products — are lost to waste by retailers, restaurants, and consumers”(Rizvi, 2004). Are we as a nation, so consumed with material possessions that we have misdirected our priorities so much we no longer can determine how much enough is.
- Agriculture investment, empowering women key to food security: FAO (agricultureafrica.wordpress.com)
- Fiji, food security on CHOGM agenda (news.theage.com.au)
- [Event] Kuwentuhang Karapatan: Right to Health- GCAP (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- Leading NGOs lobby for guidelines to protect ‘land grab’ victims (guardian.co.uk)
Countries meeting at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome this week are due to adopt a voluntary code on 17 October in response to growing alarm about the scale of international investments being made in poor countries, and the alleged human rights abuses that have followed.La Via Campesina, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth International and more than 800 other organisations presented a petition against land grabbing to the chair of the FAO’s committee on world food security.
The meetings to establish voluntary guidelines take place as a new United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) analysis paper shows that British companies are the third largest investors after China and Saudi Arabia buying, or leasing, more than 1m hectares of land in Ethiopia, Angola, Ghana, Madagascar, Mozambique, Ukraine and Sierra Leone. China has acquired 6.5m hectares, and Saudi Arabia 5.5m.
The paper also outlines the potential ecological consequences of large-scale farming and growing biofuel crops.
The paper also outlines the potential ecological consequences of large-scale farming and growing biofuel crops.
- O’neil on poverty, ethics and human rights (fionatschaut.wordpress.com)
Onora O’neil starts her article with a powerful quote from Edmund Burke
What is the use of discussing a man’s abstract right to food or medicine? The question is upon the method of procuring and administering them. In that deliberation I shall always advise to call in the aid of the farmer and the physician rather than the professor of metaphysics
- Stowe Boyd on Hacking the Food System: Social Food – Taking Food Back From Corporations (stoweboyd.com)
We have treated food as a commodity for centuries, however, and the dangers associated with that no longer surprise, but are instead simply taken as a given.
A philosophical shift is happening, at an almost invisible aspect of our society, where wholesome and safe food is being reconsidered as a foundation of life, like other rights we have come to expect like free speech, clean air and water, and public education.
A growing but diffuse food movement is trending toward a return to local and personal food production. It is my belief and hope that the use of purpose-built social tools — food tech — will accelerate the trend toward personal and regional food self-sufficiency.
- Ecology and Freedom (edmortimer.wordpress.com)
We must move beyond the indefinite and the visceral and achieve understanding, respect, and reverence if we are to at all move beyond the destruction, exterminations and oppression.
Examples of writers from across the globe are plentiful. Mawil Y. Izzi Deen argues that the Koran has an encoded system of environmental ethics and that Islam seeks to regard nature as something beyond a source for exploitation.
- CHOGM fails to agree on key reform (news.theage.com.au)
Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Saturday conceded the push to appoint a human rights watchdog to oversee the 54 country body had failed to win consensus support at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth.
- Leading NGOs lobby for guidelines to protect ‘land grab’ victims (guardian.co.uk)
“Mounting evidence shows that land grabbing violates human rights and is placing the survival of billions in peril, while corporations and private interests reap the benefits. We urgently need governments to oppose land grabs. They must instead enforce binding human rights instruments and take responsibility for their companies’ actions abroad,” said Friends of the Earth International’s food sovereignty co-ordinator, Kirtana Chandrasekaran. “Ensuring communities access to land and investing in local small-scale food producers is essential to feed the world sustainably in the future.”