The Right to Food in Italy Between Present and Future
105 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018 Last revised: 22 Feb 2019
University of Antwerp Law and Development Research Group and Institute of Policy Development
Date Written: August 9, 2018
The present report originated as a reaction to the increase in poverty and food poverty in Italy caused by austerity policies, delocalization and the broader legal, economic and political environment. Every day, almost two million families and 4,7 million people face significant problems obtaining access to adequate food. Dramatically, this figure has increased by 57% since 2007 and more than one million are children. If the basic definition of the right to adequate food is that it is “realized when every man, woman and child alone or in community with others, have physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement,” there was little doubt that poverty and food poverty in Italy needed to be assessed and discussed. With this report we go beyond a basic understanding of the right to food as having properly fed people, by enriching our analysis with a holistic conception of the right and asking specific questions concerning the Italian context. We based our investigation on a systemic, interconnected and transformative understanding of the right to food, which derives from the combination of the international legal framework, the CESCR General Comment No. 12, the 2004 FAO Voluntary Guidelines and the work realized in the last ten years by the former and current Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter and Hilal Elver. These instruments and contributors expanded the scope of the right to food, strengthening the essential role it plays in the quest for the enjoyment of all rights. We adopt a holistic understanding of the right to food and combine it with the ideas of policy integration and coordination and with an extraterritorial perspective. The report is thus not limited to individual situations that happen on the Italian territory. On the contrary, we want to assess the overall coherence of the Italian legislative and political framework vis-à-vis the full implementation right to food, identify positive examples and highlight the areas that require intervention. Eventually, we aim to set the stage for a legal and political conversation around what it means to implement the right to adequate food in a developed country of the European Union, taking into consideration both the domestic and international nature of human right obligations.
Keywords: Right to Food, Human Rights, Food, Workers, Migrants, Farmworkers, Italy, Migration, Children, Women, Food Poverty, Food Security, Poverty, Inequality
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University of Antwerp Law and Development Research Group and Institute of Policy Development ( email )