Nutrition, education and awareness raising developments in the progressive realization of the right to adequate food

until 19.08.2014

2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Right to Food Guidelines). At its 41st Session from 13-17 October 2014 the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will undertake a retrospective of the progress made in the implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines (RtFG). FAO prepared a number of working studies on different aspects of the Right to Food Guidelines as a contribution to the retrospective, and a number of these will be discussed in the Right to Food Forum. Developments in nutrition, education and awareness raising are the subject of this second online discussion.

As a basis for this discussion, the relevant working study is available here. It explores advances and challenges related to the Right to Food Guidelines 10 and 11 and argues that:

  1. the achievement of nutritional and culturally accepted well-being is an integral part of the full realization of the right to adequate food. Nutrition considerations must be included in all food system debates and measures being taken regarding the protection, fulfilment and respect of this right;
  2. education and awareness raising give people needed knowledge which helps them develop skills to make good food choices, and build their confidence in claiming their rights through a broad spectrum of tools and means, including human rights and nutrition education.

The working study concludes that nutritious diets, access to education, and increased awareness on the right to food are not only instrumental, but vital to achieving people’s full physical and cognitive human development, potential and health, concepts which are interdependent, indivisible and interrelated with regard to the right to food. This discussion aims at gathering more evidence from the past 10 years on Guidelines 10 and 11. We would particularly welcome contributions around the following focus questions:

  • Are there some specific country examples or stories that illustrate how a given nutrition intervention (such as in nutrition-sensitive agriculture, nutrition education, appropriate breastfeeding practices, clean water and adequate sanitation, etc.) contributed to the progressive realization of the right to food (for example by increasing knowledge and capacity of decision-makers; by helping beneficiaries making informed decision on nutrition-sensitive matters, etc.)?
  • Are there some specific country examples or stories that illustrate how a particular education or awareness raising intervention (such as in human rights, nutrition, health, food safety, literacy and other skills training for sustainable development; primary, secondary and higher education; information sharing; school and university curricula) contributed to the progressive realization of the right to food (for example by supporting investment in nutrition, human rights or food security training; or broadening primary education for girls and women and other vulnerable groups; strengthening technical knowledge and education at higher level on human rights, nutrition and the right to food, etc.)?

Please join the debate on nutrition, education, awareness raising and the right to food!

I thank you in advance for your thoughts and comments!

Serena Pepino, FAO Right to Food Team (ESA)

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