Re: The e-Consultation on Hunger, Food and Nutrition Security

David Patterson International Development Law Organization, Italy

Theme 2:

One of the greatest challenges in the current food and nutrition security debate is government accountability.

A key element is the ability of citizens to hold their governments accountable to national Constitutions, the national laws to address food security, and international legal obligations and commitments made through various international instruments and at forums such as the UDHR, ICESCR, WFS, WFS: five Years Later and the annual CFS. The last decade saw a paradigm shift in the rights-based approach to food and nutrition security, and also to development programming by various implementing agencies.

Particularly, the 2002 WFS: five years later brought to fore a fundamental human right – the right to adequate food.

Currently, over 20 countries have constitutional protections for the right to food. There is visible growth in domestic legal frameworks that give explicit legal recognition to the right to food, and a corresponding growth in jurisprudence of right to food cases at the domestic, regional and international levels.

More work is needed to build capacity of key actors such as activists, legal professionals, government policy makers, legislators and judges at national levels, and also subnational levels in Federal systems. This includes in research, education and awareness, training, assessment and monitoring, to institutionalize the right to food and strengthen access to justice for violations of national laws, national Constitutional protections, and international law. IDLO and partners will publish a research report on the justiciability of the right to food in March 2013. Further information: