RIGHT TO FOOD FOR WOMEN & CHILDREN IN CONFLICT – EXAMPLES OF CHALLENGES IN THIS WORLD IN 2014
*South Sudan Conflict One Year On: Millions Risking Starvation – December 15, 2014
*Starvation as a Weapon of War in Syria – 1 September 2014
*Yazidis Trapped & Starving in the Mountains of Iraq – August 18, 2014
*War & Hunger in Ukraine – November 14, 2014
*Yemen – Political Conflicts Lessening Food Security – September 28, 2014
WHAT DOES THE RIGHT TO FOOD MEAN TO WOMEN & CHILDREN IN CONFLICT & WAR, AS IN MANY COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD TODAY?
Read on for definition of The Right to Food and the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Adequate Food. These Guidelines are a human rights-based tool but they are NOT LEGALLY BINDING. States are "encouraged to apply these Voluntary Guidelines.....and should do so without discrimination of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." "States may report on a voluntary basis.""States should, in particular, monitor the food security situation of vulnerable groups, especially women, children, and the elderly....."
GUIDELINE 16 of the FAO VOLUNTARY GUIDELINES - NATURAL & HUMAN-MADE DISASTERS
16.1 Food should never be used as a means of political and economic pressure.
16.2 States reaffirm the obligations they have assumed under international humanitarian law.....with respect to the humanitarian needs of the civilian population including in situations of armed conflict
Additional Protocol I provides, inter alia, that "the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited" and that "it is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable
to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, lifestock, drinking water installations and supplies for irrigation works, for the specific
purpose of denying them, for their sustanence value to the civilian population or to the adverse party, whatever the motive, whether to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other
16.3 In situations of occupation, international humanitarian law provides, inter alia: that to the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring the food and medical
supplies of the population; that it should, in particular, bring in the necessary foodstuffs, medical stores and other articles if the resources of the Occupied Territory are inadequate....
16.5 States should make every effort to ensure that refugees and internally displaced persons have access at all times to adequate food. In this respect, States and other relevant stakeholders should be
encouraged to make use of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement when dealing with situations of internal displacement.
THE HUMAN RIGHT TO FOOD
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent.
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:
(a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
(b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
In 1996, the World Food Summit convened in Rome. It requested that the right to food be given a more concrete and operational content. A number of initiatives were taken as a result. In 1999, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the body of independent experts monitoring States’ compliance with the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted General Comment No. 12 on the right to food. The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food was established by the Commission on Human Rights by resolution 2000/10 of 17 April 2000. Following the request of the 2002 World Food Summit – five years later, an Intergovernmental Working Group was established under the auspices of the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO) in order to prepare a set of guidelines on the implementation of the right to food. This process led to the adoption on 23 November 2004, by the 187 Member States of the General Council of the FAO, of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security. The Guidelines are a set of recommendations States have chosen to adopt to assist in the implementation of the human right to adequate food. They offer practical guidance to States about how best to implement their obligation, under international law, to respect the right to adequate food and to ensure freedom from hunger.
Direct Link to the 43-Page FAO Voluntary Guildelines on The Right to Adequate Food
The right to adequate food is realized ‘when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement. The right to adequate food shall therefore not be interpreted in a narrow or restrictive sense which equates it with a minimum package of calories, proteins and other specific nutrients. The right to adequate food will have to be realized progressively. However, States have a core obligation to take the necessary action to mitigate and alleviate hunger even in times of natural or other disasters’ (General Comment No. 12, at para. 6). For the Special Rapporteur, the right to food is the right to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or by means of financial purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food corresponding to the cultural traditions of the people to which the consumer belongs, and which ensure a physical and mental, individual and collective, fulfilling and dignified life free of fear.