By ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Governments have accepted the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food. These obligations can be realized, for example, by adopting laws and regulations, drafting policies and strategies, implementing programmes and establishing new institutions. To be able to do so, it is a basic requirement that the State conducts a comprehensive assessment to identify who is where and why food insecure in the country. Such assessments are of particular importance as they frequently help countries in obtaining the necessary information for designing longer term right to food strategies, on the one hand and, on the other, in deciding on immediate measures to ensure freedom from hunger and to foster an enabling legal, policy and institutional environment.
The assessments conducted so far were for the most part general assessments on the food security situation in the country and did not specifically focus on or include the right to food dimension and the State obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food.
To change this in the future and to enable more States to assess the right to food situation in their countries, the FAO Right to Food Unit invited a small group of experts to come together to discuss their experiences in right to food assessments to date, and to create a right to food assessment checklist.