Agricultural Development Economics


Constitutional and legal protection of the right to food around the world
Lidija Knuth, Margret Vidar
Publication date
While legislative protection is needed to ensure the implementation of the right to food at the national level, it is only one of a number of necessary measures. This study reviews legal protection at the national level through constitutional provisions, national legislation and the direct applicability of international law. It builds on research undertaken for papers dealing with recognition of the right to food at the national level and for the Guide on Legislating for the Right to Food, complemented by further research by the FAO Legal Office. It provides up-to-date and comprehensive information regarding legislative activities in different countries and the constitutional protection of the right to food. The methodology employed was that of reviewing the constitutions of the world with regard to the right to food and the direct applicability of international human rights law, and collecting examples of framework law from different sources available to FAO. The study briefly reviews the right to food in international law and discusses whether there is a duty to take legislative action. Having examined constitutions protecting the right to food and the different ways in which they do so, it identifies those countries in which the right to food is directly applicable by virtue of international human rights treaties being incorporated into the domestic legal system. Finally, it summarizes country progress with regard to framework law and indicates the number of countries that have adopted, or are in the process of drafting, a framework law on the right to food or food security.