The Right to Food

FAO's role in the fulfilment of the Right to Food

FAO work on the right to food aims at providing 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 right to food establishes the PANTHER framework, a human rights-based approach (HRBA) to the right to adequate food, food security and nutrition that should guide decision-making and implementation processes. The approach is based on seven principles that should be integrated in the work with the right to food – the first letter of each principle forming the acronym: participation, accountability, non-discrimination, transparency, human dignity, empowerment and rule of law

FAO offers practical information and guidance on ways to integrate the right to food through a HRBA into a variety of important subjects, in particular:

Policy and programme

FAO policy support on the right to food is provided to enable countries to design and make adjustments to their national food security and nutrition strategies with a particular focus on governance and the incorporation of the human right to food. [...]

Legal processes

The provision of support to the development of legal frameworks for right to food and for inclusion of this right at constitutional level increases the effective enjoyment of this fundamental human right through its constitutional or statutory recognition. [...]

Budget analysis

The budget is a concrete and objective way to measure a government´s commitment to and national consensus on the realization of the right to food. Budget analysis is crucial in evaluating government decisions about allocation and distribution of scarce resources among competing priorities, and whether adequate resources are allocated to human rights. The analysis includes how funds are allocated and how revenue (e.g. tax) is obtained. Reliable data is vital to identify gaps between theory and practice and to bring about the necessary changes required to fill these gaps. Finally, improved budget transparency can increase public engagement in the budget process. This can in turn enhance pro-poor budget policies, allocations and outcomes. [...]


Endow global, regional and national organizations with the capacity to effectively contribute with the formulation, planning, implementation and monitoring of food security and nutrition legislation, policies and programmes incorporating right to food principles and governance practices in accordance with the guidance provided by Committee of World Food Security (CFS). [...]


Government has an obligation to progressively realize the right to food. But in order to know what needs to be done, the current situation of a country, a district, a community or a sector needs to be understood. Only if we know whose right to food is not realized and why, and to what extent the legal, institutional and policy framework is conducive to progress on the right to food, an adequate response can be formulated. The whole process is called Right to Food Assessment. [...]


Monitoring the right to food within a country involves regular collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of relevant information to assess progress in realizing the right to adequate food for all members of society, and whether this is being made in accordance with human rights principles and approaches. [...]

Capacity development

Capacity development is at the heart of FAO mandate and is recognized as one of FAO core functions in the Organization’s Strategic Framework.  It is key to sustainable results at country level and ensures that FAO efforts lead to lasting changes. In FAO view, capacity development is driven by country actors, consistent with national priorities and the local context, and anchored in national systems and local expertise. Capacity development needs to be undertaken in partnership with national, regional and international players and requires long-term interventions rather than stand-alone short-term events. [...]



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