Welcome to the first in our Small Sips series on The Right to Food.
Human rights are rights that we have simply because we exist as human beings. They are not created or granted by any state.
The right to food is an internationally recognized human right. Combating hunger and malnutrition is more than a moral duty or a policy choice. In many countries, it is a legally binding human rights obligation. The right to food is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as part of the right to an adequate standard of living, and is enshrined in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
The right to food is not about charity, but about ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves in dignity. Protecting this right requires political will and effective action: steps such as enshrining the right to food in national laws and constitutions, mobilizing financial resources, and establishing national and international policies, programs, and strategies dedicated to fulfilling this right for all.
So many other human rights – health, life, water, adequate housing, education, work, and more – are inextricably linked to reliable access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food.
When we advocate for the right to food, we advocate for every human being’s right to live and to thrive.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has published a clear and informative fact sheet on The Right to Adequate Food. (Version française disponible ici.) If you want to dig deeper, we recommend you dip into it. Don't be alarmed - at 39 pages the document is admittedly lengthy - but you can still learn a lot if you simply stick to the first six pages of Section 1. In those introductory pages the Right to Food is defined, common misconceptions about what it is and is not are cleared up, and links between the Right to Food and other human rights are highlighted. It is well worth a read.
See you next week for our next Small Sip!