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“Toolbox” to aid in promoting right to food

Five-volume set provides governments and civil society with "how-to" guidelines

Photo: ©FAO/Giulio Napolitano
The toolbox provides guidance on ways to integrate the right to food into national legislation and policies.

23 October 2009, Rome - FAO has published a "methodological toolbox" on the right to food, designed to provide countries, institutions civil society and other stakeholders with a series of effective instruments they can use to assert the right to adequate food as a basic human right.

The publication comes at a time when scores of countries are seeking a way to incorporate the right to food into their legislations, strategies, policies and programs. The toolbox can provide useful guidance to policymakers and stakeholders interested in moving in the above direction.

"The right to food is not a utopia," said Barbara Ekwall, right to food team leader. "It can be realized for every woman, man and child, even in times of crisis. We have the legal framework in form of international, regional and national human rights standards. To make the right to adequate food a reality for all, action at country level is essential. It is there that the difference will be made for those who are suffering from hunger."

"The development, launch and distribution of the Right to Food Methodological Toolbox was realized thanks to the support of Germany, with contributions from Norway, Spain and the Netherlands.

The toolbox — prepared by the agency's right to food team — is a book binder including six different volumes that provide practical information and detailed guidance on ways to integrate the right to food into different levels of national legislation, policies and programmees. It provides operational assistance to those seeking to monitor the right to adequate food and to identify and classify vulnerable groups suffering from hunger and food insecurity. There are also a large number of recommendations on planning, implementing and monitoring public allocations and expenditures in this field.

The toolbox, was put together by experts and practitioners with ample knowledge and experience in a variety of fields. The five volumes offer practical information into a variety of important subjects such as:

  • introducing the right to food into a constitution or into national legislation;
  • monitoring the right to adequate food, addressed largely to  technical staff in public sector institutions and civil society organisations responsible for planning and monitoring food security, nutrition and poverty; 
  • assisting governments, civil society and other stakeholders in assessing the right to food situation;
  • exploring how government budgets relate to the realization of the right to food, offering a 10-steps program for building the case for a right to food approach, analysing the government budget and presenting a claim.


Finally, the right to food toolbox includes a Curriculum Outline that will help to strengthen country capacity to implement the right to food. It can be used by teachers, trainers and other educators in developing specific courses or training programmes on the right to food.