Right to Food

The Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (the Guidelines) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) at its 30th Session in October 2004.

The Guidelines provide practical guidance to States and other stakeholders in developing and adopting a wide range of measures - including national strategies, institutions, legal frameworks, access to resources and assets, nutrition, national financial resources and monitoring – that positively contribute to the progressive realization of the right to food.

  1. The Guidelines take into account a wealth of important considerations and principles, including equality and non-discrimination, participation and inclusion, accountability and human dignity, and remind stakeholders that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated and interdependent. They also support global efforts to end hunger and malnutrition, including subsequent efforts in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially SDG 2 “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition”.
  2. The importance of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security is reflected in the vision of the reformed CFS to “strive for a world free from hunger where countries implement the voluntary guidelines for the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security” [CFS 2009/2.Rev2]. This was an important development, as recognizing the human right to adequate food is fundamental to achieving food security. The realization of this right, and its related norms, are also part of the foundation and overarching frameworks of CFS, as outlined in the Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF) and CFS-endorsed policy guidelines and recommendations such as the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) and the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (RAI).
  3. A Global Thematic Event (GTE) was held at CFS 45 in October 2018 to take stock of the use and application of the Guidelines. The GTE provided an opportunity for an inclusive, multistakeholder dialogue to share national, regional and global experiences and good practices in the use and application of the Guidelines. A total of 56 contributions from CFS stakeholders (governments, UN Organizations, civil society and non-governmental organizations and academia) informed the Event. Contributions documented experiences in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
  4. The GTE built on previous work at the 41st Session of the CFS in October 2014, where three Member States (El Salvador, India and Jordan) shared their national experiences. A Ten-Year Retrospective on the Right to Food Guidelines was produced in 2014 to enable stakeholders to take stock and understand what has worked, where the bottlenecks lie and how governments and their partners can be most effective in the fight against hunger and malnutrition.