Re: Rights-based approaches to Food Security in Protracted Crises

Emilia Venetsanou freelancer, Italy
12.11.2013

For further promoting HRBA to FNS, including in the context of protracted crisis, we have to speak Human Rights. For doing so, it is necessary awareness raising and training among the professionals and the general public.

Institutional and human capacity building must be promoted through inter-complementary and mutually reinforced pilot experiences in the field and training activities at all levels (Action - Recherche – Formation). This way, a certain common language and culture between the "development / emergency people" and the "human rights people" can gradually be built.

Regarding the debate, I want to say that the introduction paper is of impressively high quality, providing a concise yet thorough outline on the subject. Both introduction paper and several contributions are asking for further inputs on “How”. We know “What” HRBA could be, but, it is missing “How” HRBA could be implemented. The operationalization issue. However, the development and humanitarian machinery in place, including normative the institutional framework, is about the very operationalization of the HRBA. Since the aftermaths of the second World War, the UN institutions (bodies, agencies, funds, and so on), by mandate, are there for the promotion and protection of All Human Rights for All. It is important to recognise the progress made since 1948. This is not about philosophy or something happening elsewhere. We have made progress and we have to start being aware of. Yet, when we work for HRs, e.g. through livelihoods promotion or humanitarian assistance, we have to be aware of and for that Human Rights have to be explicit. We have to speak HRs and get familiar with HRs language.

That did not happened for several years. And we know that from our personal experience. Is out there any agronomist or anthropologist that in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s were thinking that while engaged in a FAO or WFP project were HRs promoters? Of course, not. HRs were not explicit. We used to “identify beneficiaries” and not “deliver service to rights holders”. To promote HRs, HRs have to be explicit and the appropriate language fostered.