Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Call for submissions
Open until:

20th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines - Call for inputs on the realization of the Human Right to Adequate Food

2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security (RTFG).

The right to food is a legally binding right, guaranteed in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is realized when everyone has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement, as established in General Comment 12, Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR).

The Right to Food Guidelines provide practical guidance for States on how to realize the right to adequate food through the development of strategies, programmes, policies and legislation. They were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and adopted by FAO Council in November 2004, after two years of intergovernmental negotiations and multi-stakeholder participation.

Governments have legal obligations to ensure the right to food, while everyone is entitled to enjoy it as a universal right, without discrimination. Moreover, all of us, individuals or collectives, including government officials, lawmakers, local communities, non-governmental organizations, academics, consumer organizations, youth groups, Indigenous Peoples, small holders, women’s organizations, civil society organizations as well as the private sector are crucial actors in the realization of the right to adequate food.

The RTFG anticipated the urgency of today’s most pressing global challenges to achieving sustainable development, including conflicts, inequalities, diseases, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. In our complex world with ever-growing and changing challenges, the Guidelines prove as relevant as ever. They remind us of the importance of international cooperation and collaboration towards the collective public good of ending hunger, malnutrition in all its forms, poverty and inequality. Their full implementation contributes to our efforts towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), themselves grounded in human rights.

The last 5 years have been particularly challenging with the COVID-19 pandemic, increased hunger and malnutrition in all its forms, rising inequalities, and a cost-of-living crisis. Innovative responses have been implemented by governments and other actors globally. 20 years on, it is time to take stock of progress and consider key takeaways.

Have your say where it matters!

Looking towards the 20th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines, the results of this call will help inform on efforts made to realize the right to adequate food at local, national, regional or global level, and provide an important stock taking opportunity for countries and their people.

The FAO Right to Food Team and the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) invite stakeholders to:

Share your experiences and good practices on the realization of the right to food for everyone, always.
Identify any gaps, constraints and challenges encountered in realizing the right to food or in implementing the Right to Food Guidelines.
Share any lessons learned and suggest recommendations for improvement in realizing the right to adequate food.
Next steps: are there any concrete plans to (further) use and apply the Guidelines?


How to take part in this Call for Submissions

Please share your experience(s) using the following template: Link to Template

Submissions can be made in any of the 6 UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Please keep the length of submissions limited to 1,000 words. You can upload the completed form here or, alternatively, send it to [email protected].

The Call for Submissions is open until 17 December 2023.

We thank you very much for your valuable contributions and look forward to learning from your experiences.


  • Marie-Lara Hubert-Chartier, Right to Food Specialist
  • Claire Mason, Right to Food Adviser
  • Sarah Brand, Associate Professional Officer
  • Chiara Cirulli, Economist (Food Security and Nutrition Policy), the CFS Secretariat


Please read the article on more FAO publications on this topic here.

* Click on the name to read all comments posted by the member and contact him/her directly
  • Read 91 contributions
  • Expand all

Over the past two decades the Right to Food Guidelines have played an extremely important role in institutionalizing the right to food in policy and regulations at international, national, and subnational level. It has also provided CSOs, community-based organizations of small-scale fishers and farmers and trade unions with a tool for advocacy and policy intervention that asserts the right to food as a human right and integrates it with a broader set of rights. Of course, widespread hunger, malnutrition and undernutrition remain an urgent challenge in a global food system shaped by excessive corporate power, systemic inequality, and exclusion. The 20th anniversary provides an important opportunity to reassess the lack of progress in many countries to ensure access to the right to food and to create pathways for its realization.

In our submission we call for the inclusion and strengthening of the Guidelines with regards to:

  • freedom of association and the right to organize as essential for an integrated human rights approach that ensures genuine collective representation and participation of affected communities, agricultural workers and marginal farmers, women, youth and indigenous communities
  • recognition of the role of women in the informal economy and their inclusion in policymaking and decision-making
  • recognition of the role indigenous  communities, indigenous food systems, and indigenous knowledge and measures to tackle marginalization, discrimination and racism and to protect rights as part of the integrated human rights that underpin the right to food
  • measures to stop financial speculation in food and agricultural commodity prices that creates volatility and food price inflation that undermines the right to food and generates systemic food insecurity

Dr Muhammad Hidayat Greenfield, Regional Secretary

International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) Asia/Pacific


Adalgisa Martinelli

Universitè Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

To the kind attention of F.A.O.

I trust this message finds you well.

I am writing in response to the recent communication regarding the reopening of the Call for submissions on the "20th anniversary of the Right to Food Guidelines – Call for inputs on the realization of the Human Right to Adequate Food."

Please find attached my contribution to the second phase of the Call for Submissions and, I take this opportunity to thank you for allowing all of us to share insights, expertise and best practice towards this collective effort.  Once again, thank you for providing this opportunity to contribute to such a meaningful dialogue.

Thanks for your kind attention and collaboration.   

Best regards,

Marie Curie Doctoral Fellow
GEM-Diamond Project

Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Pablo Bassante


Estimada Representación de FAO en Ecuador,

Con un atento saludo, en virtud al Oficio Nro. MREMH-DOEI-2023-0452-O, 15 de noviembre de 2023, mediante el cual el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores y Movilidad Humana pone en conocimiento que; “(…) El Equipo del Derecho a la Alimentación de la FAO y el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial (CSA) invitan a las partes interesadas a: i) Compartir sus experiencias y buenas prácticas sobre la realización del derecho a la alimentación para todas las personas, en todo momento; ii) Identificar las carencias, limitaciones y desafíos en la realización del derecho a la alimentación o en la implementación de las Directrices sobre el derecho a la alimentación; iii) Compartir las enseñanzas adquiridas y sugerir recomendaciones para mejorar la realización del derecho a una alimentación adecuada; e; iv) Identificar los próximos pasos: ¿hay algún plan concreto para utilizar y aplicar las Directrices (en el futuro)?. Para el efecto, se puede completar la información a través del formulario adjunto. Información complementaria puede encontrarse en el siguiente enlace:…. Las contribuciones se pueden redactar en español y deben tener una extensión máxima de 1.000 palabras y enviarlo por electrónico a [email protected], hasta antes del 17 de diciembre de 2023…”

 Al respecto, me permito informar que la Dirección de Cooperación y Relaciones Internacionales, en el ámbito de sus competencias, consultó con las áreas técnicas afines al tema.

Finalmente, por lo mencionado, remito las contribuciones por parte del Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIAP).

Saludos cordiales,

Mgs. Pablo Bassante

Dirección de Cooperación y Relaciones Internacionales


Quito – Ecuador

Dr Rebecca Lindberg

Deakin University

Please find submission attached.

Thank you,

Dr Rebecca Lindberg (She/her)

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN)

School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Share your experiences and good practices on the realization of the right to food for everyone, always

Ensuring the right to food for everyone is a multifaceted challenge that requires various approaches. Some good practices include:

Sustainable Agriculture: Supporting small-scale farmers, promoting sustainable farming practices, and investing in agricultural technology can increase food production sustainably.

Food Redistribution Programs: Implementing programs to redirect surplus food from producers, supermarkets, and restaurants to those in need helps reduce food waste and ensures more people have access to food.

Education and Awareness: Educating communities about nutrition, food storage, and sustainable practices empowers individuals to make informed choices and reduces food insecurity.

Policy and Advocacy: Supporting policies that promote equitable access to food, address poverty, and invest in social safety nets can significantly impact food security for vulnerable population. 

Community Initiatives: Establishing community gardens, food banks, and cooperative networks encourages local involvement and provides immediate support to those facing food insecurity.

Partnerships and Collaboration: Engaging governments, NGOs, businesses, and local communities in collaborative efforts helps leverage resources and expertise to address the complexities of food security comprehensively.

Realizing the right to food for everyone requires a holistic approach addressing various interconnected factors like poverty, access to resources, education, and sustainable agricultural practices.

Mr. Abdulai Kamara

Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable Development (CDRMSD)
Sierra Leone

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings to you from my end. I am Abdulai Kamara, the Executive
Director for the Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Sustainable
Development (CDRMSD), a CSO based in Sierra Leone. Kindly find attached
my response for the food and nutrition security forum contribution. I
tried to upload my response to the platform, but to no avail.
Please feel free to reach me if you would require additional information.


Dear Moderator,
From a new perspective and lens: Based on our recent study (see below) on the issue of the Human Right to Adequate Food, the problem is getting serious to indigenous ethnic communities and other societies that are based on common property resources. Current international environmental policies and actions have made them worse. There are hidden international politics on hunger in developing countries. People from developing countries cannot understand the problems of conventional thinking and materials of international aid agencies. They should look at the problem from their own national perspective.
The following articles may help you to understand the politics and problems in developing countries.
Thank you.
Best Wishes. 
Bhubaneswor Dhakal

Prof. Ahmad Mahdavi

University of Tehran/ and Sustainable agriculture and environment.
Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Please see my response attached.

Best regards,

Ahmad Mahdavi, professor emeritus at University of Tehran,

Ph.D., entomologist/ ecotoxicologist/ ICT for agriculture and environment,

Focal point for Mountain Partnership in the University of Tehran,

CMS preventing poisoning group, RAMSAR, SWS, WWN,

University of Tehran/ and Sustainable agriculture and environment.
Tehran, Iran.

In Pakistan, like many other countries, the right to food is a fundamental human right that is enshrined in various international agreements and also recognized in the Constitution of Pakistan. The right to food entails that every person has the right to access safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food in sufficient quantities to lead a healthy and active life. However, there are several problems related to food security and access to adequate nutrition in Pakistan, and addressing these issues is essential to ensure the realization of the right to food for all its citizens.

1. Poverty and Income Inequality: A significant portion of the Pakistani population lives in poverty, and income inequality is a pressing issue. Poverty and income disparities directly affect people's ability to afford nutritious food. To address this problem, Pakistan needs policies that promote economic growth, job creation, and income distribution.

2. Food Insecurity: Many people in Pakistan are food-insecure, meaning they do not have reliable access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. This is often due to factors like crop failure, natural disasters, and food price inflation. Addressing this issue requires a robust social safety net, better agricultural practices, and policies to stabilize food prices.

3. Malnutrition: Pakistan faces high levels of malnutrition, including stunting and wasting in children and anemia among women. Malnutrition is a significant obstacle to realizing the right to food. To tackle this problem, the government should invest in nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs, such as fortification of staple foods and nutrition education.

4. Lack of Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: Access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation is closely linked to food security and nutrition. Contaminated water and poor sanitation can lead to waterborne diseases that affect nutritional status. The government should invest in improving water and sanitation infrastructure.

5. Agricultural Challenges: Pakistan's agriculture sector faces several challenges, including water scarcity, outdated farming practices, and inadequate access to credit and resources for smallholder farmers. To ensure food security, Pakistan should invest in modernizing agriculture, improving irrigation, and supporting small-scale farmers.

6. Land Rights: Land tenure issues and landlessness can lead to food insecurity, especially among vulnerable populations. Ensuring secure land tenure rights and equitable land distribution is vital for addressing this issue.

7. Food Safety: Ensuring the safety of the food supply is crucial for protecting the right to food. Improving food safety standards, inspection mechanisms, and regulation of the food industry is necessary.

8. Legal Framework and Governance: Pakistan has a legal framework in place to protect the right to food, but its implementation and enforcement often fall short. Strengthening the legal framework and improving governance and accountability are critical for addressing these issues.

To solve these problems and realize the right to food in Pakistan, a comprehensive and multi-pronged approach is necessary:

  1. Policy Reforms: The government should develop and implement policies that address poverty, income inequality, and food security. This may include social safety nets, targeted subsidies, and measures to improve agricultural productivity.

  2. Investment in Agriculture: Modernizing the agricultural sector, providing support to smallholder farmers, and improving irrigation systems are essential to enhance food production.

  3. Nutrition Programs: Implement nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs that address malnutrition and ensure access to diverse and nutritious foods.

  4. Water and Sanitation: Invest in clean drinking water and sanitation infrastructure to reduce waterborne diseases and improve nutritional status.

  5. Land Rights: Ensure secure land tenure rights and equitable land distribution to address landlessness and food insecurity among vulnerable populations.

  6. Food Safety Regulations: Strengthen food safety standards, inspection mechanisms, and regulatory enforcement to ensure the safety of the food supply.

  7. Legal Reforms: Strengthen the legal framework for the right to food and improve governance and accountability to ensure its effective implementation.

Realizing the right to food in Pakistan is a complex challenge, but it is essential for the well-being and development of the population. A multi-sectoral and holistic approach is required, involving government agencies, civil society, and international organizations to address these problems and ensure food security for all.