From Justiciability to Justice: Realizing the Human Right to Food
JSDLP Online, Volume 11:1 (2015)
38 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2015
The international human rights regime has recognized the right to food since its inception, yet chronic hunger remains one of the most flagrant human rights violations of our time. Food security — the ability to access adequate, nutritious food — continues to elude almost one billion people. In 2008, the economic downturn, coupled with environmental events affecting crop yields, caused global food prices to skyrocket. The resulting food crisis created an even greater urgency to resolve the issue of global food insecurity. This article explores the state’s role in facilitating the realization of food security in two contexts: India and Ethiopia. We analyze the normative content of the right to food in international law and examine the promise and realization of food security in each country. The article sets out key principles for a justice-based framework to food security, an approach based on the state’s obligation to ensure the progressive realization of the right to food and reform corrupt or dysfunctional institutions that perpetuate systemic inequality. The approach emphasizes the primacy of four interconnected strategies: (i) strengthening institutions; (ii) improving access to justice; (iii) empowering rights holders; and (iv) supporting food sovereignty.
Keywords: human rights, international law, development, food security, rule of law
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