The Right to Food around the Globe

  Sri Lanka

The Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has directive principles that contribute to the realization of the right to adequate food.

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has become a State party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1980 by way of accession.


Directive principles of state policy

Article 27:
(1) The Directive Principles of State Policy herein contained shall guide Parliament, the President and the Cabinet of Ministers in the enactment of laws and the governance of Sri Lanka for the establishment of a just and free society.
(2) The State is pledged to establish in Sri Lanka a democratic socialist society, the objectives of which include –
a. the full realization of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons; b. the promotion of the welfare of the People by securing and protecting as effectively as it may, a social order in which justice (social, economic and political) shall guide all the institutions of the national life; c. the realization by all citizens of an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, the continuous improvement of living conditions and the full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural opportunities; d. the rapid development of the whole country by means of public and private economic activity and by laws prescribing such planning and controls as may be expedient for directing and co-ordinating such public and private economic activity towards social objectives and the public weal; e. the equitable distribution among all citizens of the material resources of the community and the social product, so as best to subserve the common good; f. the establishment of a just social order in which the means of production, distribution and exchange are not concentrated and centralised in the State, State agencies or in the hands of a privileged few, but are dispersed among and owned by, all the People of Sri Lanka; g. raising the moral and cultural standards of the People and ensuring the full development of human personality; and h. the complete eradication of illiteracy and the assurance to all persons of the right to universal and equal access to education at all levels.”


Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) – 1948

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

Status: Accession (1980)

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

Status: Ratification (1981)

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

Status: Ratification (1991)

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

Status: Signature (2007)

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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