p

p

Extracts from legal instruments

Since its founding, the United Nations has recognized access to adequate food as both an individual right and a collective responsibility. Over the years, a number of international instruments have committed states to upholding this basic human right. Below, listed chronologically, are brief extracts from international instruments that include the right to food among their provisions.

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, 19481

Article 25
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food...

CONSTITUTION OF FAO, 19652

Preamble
The Nations accepting this Constitution, being determined to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and collective action on their part for the purpose of: raising levels of nutrition and standards of living... and thus... ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger, hereby establish the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON ECONOMIC, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL RIGHTS, 19663

Article 11
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food…. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international cooperation based on free consent.

UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD, 19894

Article 24
2. States Parties shall . . . take appropriate measures . . .to combat disease and malnutrition … through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods…

Article 27
States Parties, in accordance with national conditions and within their means... shall in case of need provide material assistance and support programmes, particularly with regard to nutrition...

WORLD FOOD SUMMIT PLAN OF ACTION, 19965

Commitment Seven
We will implement, monitor and follow-up this Plan of Action at all levels in cooperation with the international community.

Objective 7.4
To clarify the content of the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, as stated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other relevant international and regional instruments, and to give particular attention to implementation and full and progressive realization of this right as a means of achieving food security for all.

 


Footnotes:

1Adopted by the General Assembly on 10 December 1948. UN doc. A/811.
2As amended in 1965.
3General Assembly Resolution 2200 A (XXI), Annex, of 16 December 1966.
4General Assembly Resolution 44/25, Annex, of 20 November 1989.
5Adopted by the World Food Summit, Rome, 13 to 17 November 1996. FAO. 1997. Report of the World Food Summit, Part One. Rome.

 

Right to Food Web site
Focus Archive