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

Mauricio Rosales FAO, Italy

Some participants find the concept of the HRB, and especially the right to food, more of a rhetorical concept and raise concern about practical implications. A lot of progress on the practical implementation of the right to food has been achieved in the last 10 years. Governments, Parliaments and civil society organizations at global, regional and national levels had been engaging into making it a reality.  This can be seen in the growing number of right to food based policies and programs and legislations (including constitutional changes) that enable participation and accountability mechanisms. FAO has been instrumental on this and it is paving the way by raising the discussion of the right to food to the level of the FAO Committee on World Food Security. The discussion have served to upsurge the implementation of legal and policy measures that contribute to the realization of the right to food. A recent report by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food highlight some of the advance on the implementation:

South Africa, Kenya, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Ivory Coast and Niger have already given direct constitutional protection to the right to food, while reform processes are underway in El Salvador, Nigeria, and Zambia.

Right to food framework laws, often taking the shape of 'Food and Nutrition Security' laws, have been adopted in Argentina, Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Honduras, with several other Latin American countries in the process of adopting similar measures.

Countries including Uganda, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal and Mali have adopted, or are in the process of adopting, framework legislation for agriculture, food and nutrition that enshrines rights-based principles of entitlements and access to food.

The South African High Court ordered a revision of the Marine Living Resources Act and the creation of the Small-Scale Fishers Policy to ensure the socio-economic rights of small-scale fishers (2012).

Increasing litigation and Court rules for the protection of the right to food had been made in The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the ECOWAS Court of Justice ECOWAS; India and Nepal Supreme Courts

Regional policies that are human rights based are being implemented in the CARICOM countries and Portuguese speaking countries in Africa.

These are only flew examples of many of the advances on the practical implementation of the right to food. More information can be found at the FAO’s right to food website: