What is the Right to Food?

Author: FAO Right to Food Team

Brief, 2007.

This document is a part of the Right to Food Essential Package.

The Right to Food Essential Package provides you with all the documents you will need in order to understand what the right to food is, information about policies and law, examples of best practices and the right to food in action.

The right to food is the right to feed oneself in dignity. It is the right to have continuous access to the resources that will enable you to produce, earn or purchase enough food to not only prevent hunger, but also to ensure health and well-being. The right to food only rarely means that a person has the right to free handouts. States ratifying the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights have legally bound themselves to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food. While this treaty was an essential first step, there was little progress toward realizing this right until the 1996 World Food Summit, when Heads of State and Government issued the Rome Declaration reaffirming, “the right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger”.

Essential package


Search publications