The right to adequate food in emergencies

Authors: Lorenzo Cotula and Margret Vidar (FAO Legal Office)

FAO Legislative Study, Number 77, 2003.

This study was undertaken by the FAO Legal Office within the broader context of FAO's activities to clarify the normative content of the right to adequate food. In particular it builds on Legislative Study No. 68 which was published in 1999 and contains extracts from a wide range of international and regional instruments relating to the right to adequate food. The purpose of this study is to clarify the meaning of the right to adequate food with specific regard to emergency situations including both natural and man-made disasters.

The study identifies and analyses the applicable principles rules and standards of international law related to the right to food in emergency situations. In so doing it draws on several branches of international law including international human rights holistic approach encompassing bodies of international law that are often treated in isolation follows the philosophy of Legislative Study 68 and is one of the main contributions of the study. Reference is also made to some principles and standards embodied in internationally recognised codes of conduct which are not legally binding and are not part of international law. The study analyses the obligations and responsibilities of States particularly those affected by natural or man-made disasters and of non-State actors to realize the right to adequate food and examines the principles and standards applicable to food and food-related aid programmes.



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