Right to Food an Instance to Human Rights

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DEPARTMENT OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF KERALA
UGC SPONSORED
NATIONAL INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR ON
REALISATION OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS

PAPER ON TOPIC

RIGHT TO FOOD: AN INSTANCE OF
HUMAN RITHS

Submitted by
Sajisivan.s
3rd Semester LLm
Department of Law
Kariyavattom campus

RIGHT TO FOOD: AN INSTANCE OF HUMAN RITHS

The human right to food has its contemporary origin within the U.N. Universal Human Rights framework. Ensuring the right to adequate food and consequently the right to be free form hunger is specifically enshrined in a number of Human Rights instruments. It is obvious that without adequate food people cannot lead a health, active lives. They are not employable. They cannot take care of their children and thus children become unhealthy and illiterate.

Since its inception, the United Nations had identified access to adequate food as both an individual right and a collective responsibility. The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed that “every one has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well being of himself and his family, including food[1]. Two decades later the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 developed these concepts more fully, stressing ‘the right to every one to adequate food’ and specifying “the fundamental right of every one to be free from hunger”[2]

Right to food means?

The essential question that arises here, what is the distinction between the right to be free form hunger and right to adequate food? As can be seen there is inherent inconsistency within these definitions. On the one hand they talk about the right to food as “a right to be free form hunger and on the other hand they express the right to food as a right to adequate food for health and well being”[3]

While the right to free form hunger means that the State has an obligation to ensure, at the very least, that the people do not starve, the right to adequate food implies that the State should also do everything possible to promote physical and economic access to food that is adequate in quantity and quality for healthy and active life. For food to be considered adequate it must also be culturally acceptable and it must be produced in a manner that is environmentally and socially sustainable. In the light of this analysis it could be understood that the nature of the right to food would be shaped internationally by the different evolving instruments and how they are implemented.

The right to food is a fundamental human right as well as a basic need. Almost all countries in the world have in one way or other recognized this right. There is increasing recognition worldwide that food and nutrition is a human right, and thus there is moral as well as legal obligation on the part of the state to provide adequate nourishment to the people[4].

Human Right to Food

The human right to food has its contemporary origin within the U.N. Universal Human Rights framework. The main reference point is located within the UDHR, Article 25, which states, “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food.” It provided a reference point for human rights legislation that followed but is not itself a binding international legal instrument. The modern human rights framework for a specific right essentially consists of a legal framework in a country that establishes something as a right, including an effective procedure for enforcing the right, a process for adjudicating individual rights cases, and resources provided to address the outcome of rights decisions. In the human right to food and contemporary globalization explores the fundamental reason why current globalization efforts have been opposed by so many: globalization in its initial formulation meant concern for poor and oppressed people throughout the world, and not just reducing...
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