The Voluntary Guidelines in brief

Author: FAO Right to Food Team

Guidelines in brief, 2006.

Every human being has the right to adequate food and the fundamental right to be free from hunger, according to international human rights law. This is called “the Right to Food” for short. The right to adequate food covers quantity, quality, and cultural acceptability. States have the obligation to respect, protect, promote, facilitate and provide the right to food. Some obligations are immediate, others should be realized progressively to the maximum of available resources.

The Voluntary Guidelines contain recommendations on all aspects of the right to food. They can be used by right to food advocates to call for amendments in legislation, policies and practices, and by government officials to prepare and implement internal policies and legislation. Many of the issues covered in the Guidelines are familiar to policy makers and officials. For instance, they follow a “twin-track approach” which on the one hand seeks to strengthen productivity and livelihoods, and on the other to build social safety nets for those temporarily or permanently unable to provide for themselves.

In the guidelines such technical measures are combined with State obligations, accountability and recourse mechanisms. The Guidelines seek to bring coherence to these diverse policy areas, underpin them with human rights considerations and principles, and help create a framework within the countries can coordinate and monitor their efforts to achieve the World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals. The Voluntary Guidelines in Brief presents the most essential elements of the Voluntary Guidelines.

Right to Food Guidelines


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