Food security policy and governance

Right to food

Food security policy and governance - Right to food
Image: via Flickr (by: CIAT)

Looking at food systems from the perspectives of availability, accessibility, utilization and sustainability not automatically acknowledges food as a global common good. Starting from the principle of ‘right to food’, one would focus on food systems that value food based on its multiple and essential dimensions to humans and not just as a priced commodity. This perspective requires state-driven initiatives, policies and regulations. Food riots as a result of the recent global economic crisis and the increasing influence of companies in international food and nutrition governance have led to a plea for such more democratic food systems. Views are built on the idea that market-driven allocations based on supply-demand and self-regulated collective actions for food producers and consumers with different forms of food sharing, could adhere to a more sustainable and fairer food system. Various knowledge items elaborating on this idea are included under this Portal topic.

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Who owns the right to food? Interlegality and competing interests in agricultural modernisation in Papua, Indonesia
Published by Third World Quarterly,
This article discusses the extend to which competing and conjoined interests in agricultural modernization reshape the right to food since actors, norms and practices change. This is partly due to economic globalization that has transformed the politics regarding the right to food. The authors use the concept of interlegality, which considers dynamic perspectives of plural legal orders. »
Spaces for dialogue as a strategy to integrate the right to food in rural municipalities of Latin America: Recommendations for establishment and strengthening
Published by FAO,
This report provides guidance to authorities and municipal officers to establishing and strengthen policy dialogue between municipal governments and civil society. This is done as a strategy to integrate the obligations and principles of the right to food in rural municipalities related to food and nutrition security in Latin America. The report focuses on the implementation of two principles; participation and empowerment. »
Right to Food Journal: Supporting the struggle for the Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition
Published by FIAN International,
This journal elaborates on the increasing influence of transnational corporation over policy-making and its impact on the realization of the human right to food and nutrition. It was published on the occasion of Human Rights Day and features political and legal analyses of corporate influencing and stories from the ground. »
A rights-based food security principle for biomass production
Published by ZEF, Welthungerhilfe,
This working paper aims to show how the right to food can be ensured in local biomass production and through certification systems in food insecure regions. The authors argue that until now food security aspects of biomass-based economies are hardly addressed because practical criteria and indicators are lacking. »
Realising the right to social security and the right to food
Published by ILO,
This paper identifies conceptual synergies and dissonances between food security and income security. It considers the contribution of mainstream social protection instruments, such as cash transfers, to food security. The paper presents specific food security policies that would strengthen the ability of national social protection floors to address food insecurity. »
Climate change and human rights: Adapting food production to climate change – An inclusive approach
Published by Global Policy,
In this column, Christian Timmermann and Georges Félix claim that we need to focus our attention on creating innovations that can be reproduces with spare local parts and as little external inputs as possible, to ensure that the innovations reach the neediest. The authors argue that to address the human right to adequate food in the upcoming years and decades, policy-makers have assigned the globalized knowledge economy the task to deliver the necessary technological solutions. However, this approach fails to include the inventive capacity and active involvement of smallholders. »
Realizing the right to food in an era of climate change
Published by QUNO,
This report (PDF) by Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) highlights the role of small-scale farmers as innovators and custodians of food system diversity, a critical resource in ensuring the realization of the right to food in an era of climate change. Taking an innovation systems perspective, it proposes a new framework for the design of collaborative agricultural research projects and agendas, and notes the need for pro-active policy measures in creating an enabling environment for such partnerships. »
Shifting cultivation, livelihood and food security: New and old challenges for indigenous peoples in Asia
Published by FAO,
This extended report showcases the changes in livelihood and food security among indigenous shifting cultivation communities in South and Southeast Asia. It focuses on the challenges for indigenous peoples in countries that experience rapid socio-economic transformations with case studies from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal and Thailand. The case studies identify external and internal factors that hinder and facilitate livelihood creation and food security. »
A review of the implementation of the Right to Food Guidelines: 7 thematic studies by FAO
Published by FAO,
The FAO Right to Food Team has prepared seven thematic studies that document and highlight progress made over the last ten years concerning right to food, while also capturing the challenges ahead in relation to major issues covered by the Right to Food Guidelines. The studies are helpful in reflecting upon current gaps and areas... »
Right to Food Journal 2014
Published by FIAN,
The FIAN Right to Food Journal is an annual online magazine which provides experts with information and analysis on the right to food and on important trends concerning economic, social and cultural rights. This 2014 edition (PDF) highlights the advantages of working with the broadened concept of the human right to adequate food and nutrition. »
Food riots and food rights: the moral and political economy of accountability for hunger
Published by DFID-ESRC project,
This report (PDF) synthesises the findings from four country case studies produced for the DFID-ESRC project. The paper explores causes and consequences of food-related riots and right-to-food movements in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Mozambique in the period 2007-2012. »
Right to food and nutrition watch 2014: Ten years of the right to food guidelines: gains, concerns and struggles
Published by RTFN,
The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch (RTFN) is an annual publication by ICCO Cooperation, FIAN International and Brot für die Welt and other partners. This 2014 report (PDF) analyses successes and shortfalls of ten-year anniversary of the FAO Council Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the... »
The transformative potential of the right to food
Published by Special UN Rapporteur Olivier De Schutter,
In this final report (PDF) by the former Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter, main conclusions are presented on eradication of hunger and malnutrition from his country visits in thirteen countries: Benin, Cameroon, Madagascar and Malawi (low-income countries); Brazil, China, Guatemala, Malaysia, Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa and the Syrian Arab Republic... »
The Right to Food: Past commitment, current obligation, further action for the future
Published by FAO,
This ten year retrospective on the right to food guidelines analyzes some of the main issues experienced while implementing the Right to Food Guidelines over the past decade and looks to possible avenues for making use of the Right to Food Guidelines to achieve the right to adequate food of all in the years to come. The report looks back and tries to understand what has worked and why, where the bottlenecks lie, and how governments and their partners can be most effective in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. »
Netherlands Food Partnership

The F&BKP is continuing in Netherlands Food Partnership: find more knowledge & expertise at the NFP website.