The Right to Food around the Globe


The Constitution of the Republic of Italy does not explicitly guarantee the right to adequate food. 

The Republic of Italy has become a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1978 by way of ratification. It has ratified the Optional Protocol (OP-ICESCR) in 2015.


National status of international obligations

Article 10: "The Italian legal system conforms to the generally recognised principles of international law."

Articolo 10: "L’ordinamento giuridico italiano si conforma alle norme del diritto internazionale generalmente riconosciute."

Other pertinent provisions for the realization of the right to adequate food

Article 32: “The Republic safeguards health as a fundamental right of the individual and as a collective interest, and guarantees free medical care to the indigent. No one may be obliged to undergo any health treatment except under the provisions of the law. The law may not under any circumstances violate the limits imposed by respect for the human person.”

Articolo 32: “La Repubblica tutela la salute come fondamentale diritto dell’individuo e interesse della collettivita`, e garantisce cure gratuite agli indigenti. Nessuno puo` essere obbligato a un determinato trattamento sanitario se non per disposizione di legge. La legge non puo` in nessun caso violare i limiti imposti dal rispetto della persona umana."


Article 36: “Workers have the right to a remuneration commensurate to the quantity and quality of their work and in any case such as to ensure them and their families a free and dignified existence.”

Articolo 36: “Il lavoratore ha diritto ad una retribuzione proporzionata alla quantita` e qualita` del suo lavoro e in ogni caso sufficiente ad assicurare a se´ e alla famiglia un’esistenza libera e dignitosa.


Article 38: “Every citizen unable to work and without the necessary means of subsistence is entitled to welfare support. Workers have the right to be assured adequate means for their needs and necessities in the case of accidents, illness, disability, old age and involuntary unemployment.”

Articolo 38: “Ogni cittadino inabile al lavoro e sprovvisto dei mezzi necessari per vivere ha diritto al mantenimento e all’assistenza sociale. I lavoratori hanno diritto che siano preveduti ed assicurati mezzi adeguati alle loro esigenze di vita in caso di infortunio, malattia, invalidita` e vecchiaia, disoccupazione involontaria."


Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – 1948

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) – 1966

Status: Ratification (1978)

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) – 1979

Status: Ratification (1985)

Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) – 1989

Status: Ratification (1991)

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) – 2006

Status: Ratification (2009)

Legislation and policies recognizing the right to adequate food

Guidance on how to progressively realise the human right to adequate food in contexts of national food security has been provided by the Right to Food Guidelines, adopted by the FAO Council and endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security.

Considering that the human right to adequate food can be implemented through a variety of legal and policy actions, we invite you to visit the FAOLEX Country Profile database for a wide-ranging collection of measures that have been taken at national level. Some of the documents you may find are legislation and policies that touch on a number of relevant Guidelines, such as those on Access to resources and assets (Guideline 8), Food safety and consumer protection (Guideline 9), Support for vulnerable groups (Guideline 13) and Natural and human-made disasters (Guideline 16).

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