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Institutional framework for the right to adequate food

Right to Food Thematic Study 2








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    Book (series)
    Legal developments and progressive realization of the right to adequate food
    Right to Food Thematic Study 3
    2014
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    Legal developments in the progressive realization of the right to adequate food thematic study explores the significant legal advances of the right to food since the adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Right to Food Guidelines) in 2004. While not legally binding as such, the Right to Food Guidelines, particularly Guideline 7, provide guidance on strengthening legal frameworks for the p rogressive realization of the right to food. The study examines the explicit and implicit recognition of the right to food in national constitutions. While these are highly significant and can provide grounds for litigation, constitutional provisions alone do not provide precise instructions on the different issues that are relevant to the right to food. Adoption of framework laws or specific food security legislation can establish an institutional structure and develop further what action shou ld be taken and how decision-making processes are organized. Sectoral legislation is also necessary to regulate public and private actors in the different fields, as illustrated in the study. With the overview of the various developments at the legislative level, the study proceeds to examine judicial developments related to the right to food. Through the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights the right has become justiciable at the international level and as a matter of international law. There have also been notable jurisprudential developments on the right to food in recent years. The study cites court cases from a number of different countries with different legal systems, as well as cases from regional human rights instances. The cases cited illustrate how the right to food has been interpreted and how it can be enforced.
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    Document
    The Current Status of the Right to Adequate Food in Food Security and Nutrition Policy Designs
    Right to Food Thematic Study 1.
    2014
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    This Thematic Study reviewed the existing food security and nutrition (FSN) policy documents to determine the extent to which the designs of these policies have right to food underpinnings. Even after the Right to Food Guidelines were endorsed by most countries the right to food underpinnings of the FSN policy designs, with notable exceptions, tend to be weak. This tends to be true more for FSN policies in Africa and Asia, even though a few exceptions there can be found. Current FSN policies in Latin America and the Caribbean have the right to food more firmly integrated in their designs, in some cases with transformative qualities with respect to the right to food. A more complete assessment study should identify the facilitating or limiting factors that help explain these inter-regional differences. Currently more examples of FSN policy designs that have some right to food underpinnings may be found as compared to prior to 2005. FSN policies increasingly include guiding principle s for policy implementation that are in part human rights-based. Participation and gender equality are often included. However, what is missing in the policy designs are specific actions to ensure that the conditions exist for the implementation of these principles. In order to strengthen the right to adequate food underpinnings of future FSN policy designs national governments should be encouraged to formulate food security and nutrition policies that are in line with the state obligation to f acilitate the progressive realization of the right to adequate food. National governments should review and periodically update the design of existing FNS policies with the objective to turn these policies into effective instruments that contribute to the protection and realization of the right to adequate food. With the aim of strengthening the right to food underpinnings of FSN policy designs, a complete right to food assessment should be undertaken, which covers an analysis of the FSN situati on, as well as the legal, policy and institutional frameworks relevant to the right to food, to ensure that the right to food contents of FSN policies are evidence-based. The FSN situation analysis needs to focus more on identifying and characterizing the most vulnerable groups and on drawing out the structural inequities in FSN outcomes. Greater and more effective participation in the formulation (and implementation) of FSN policies by the human rights community, specifically any human rights i nstitution that may exist as well as civil society organizations that focus on human rights, should contribute to strengthening the right to food underpinnings of FSN policies.
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    Document
    International dimensions of the right to adequate food
    Right to Food Thematic Study 7
    2014
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    The Right to Food Guidelines provide practical tools for the implementation of the right to adequate food primarily in the context of national food security. However, in recognition of the actual and potential national-level effects of international economic transactions and development and humanitarian cooperation, they further lay down a human rights-based framework for relevant international measures, actions and commitments. A review of the implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines shou ld therefore have a component on its international dimensions. In order to support the ten-year retrospective on the Right to Food Guidelines within the Committee on World Food Security in 2014, the Right to Food Team conducted a series of seven thematic studies on the implementation of the Guidelines. The present study reviews the progress made and the challenges faced over the ten years in the areas of international trade and investment, development and humanitarian cooperation policies, and international development loans and debts from the perspectives of the right to adequate food. It looks at relevant practical developments in the context of international cooperation and global governance on the basis of human rights-based frameworks for the different policy areas. The study can be of use to FAO staff and its national and international partners working on food security in general and the right to food in particular.

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