UN rights expert urges laws supporting right to food

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food [official website], Olivier De Schutter, on Friday praised the international community's collective adoption of laws, policies and strategies further entrenching the right to food over the past decade. De Schutter emphasized [press release] in his final report to the UN General Assembly that many nations have prioritized nutrition as a basic human right, leading to a "global right to food movement." De Schutter attributed the progress to the collaborative efforts of both state and non-state entities, whose interlocking contributions have led to substantial inroads in resource production, food access and social protection of the right to food. The Special Rapporteur also stressed that, while many nations have made progress, governments and civil society groups must do more to further entrench protections of the right to food into their respective legal frameworks. According to De Schutter, governments can accomplish this objective by writing the right to food into their constitutions and laws, where courts must thereafter uphold it as a fundamental economic and social right. Non-government entities can do their part by continuing to monitor compliance with the law. De Schutter's report will be part of the 2014 Committee on World Food Security's review of progress made under the Right to Food Voluntary Guidelines adopted in Rome in 2004.

The battle against chronic hunger and malnutrition continues to be an important global issue, and many nations have adopted the right to food as a fundamental human right. In November 2011 De Schutter urged [JURIST report] the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make food security a top priority at its 2011 global trade talks. De Schutter stressed that WTO policies do not adequately ensure the right to food in developing countries, especially as international food prices are on the rise. In October 2011 De Schutter announced [JURIST report] that he supports a Mexican constitutional reform which recognizes the right to food. In March 2010 Bolivian President Evo Morales called on the UN [JURIST report] to declare access to safe drinking water a basic human right, marking World Water Day.

 

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