3 December 2018
Today, about 800 million people around the world suffer from hunger, and about 2 billion lack the essential micronutrients they need to live healthy and active lives.
The reflexive response to a growing demand for food and higher prices is to increase the productivity of food systems. However, there is a rising consensus among agricultural scientists, economists, policy-makers and civil society groups that this approach is not the solution to food crises.
Building on this reflexion, our new Research Brief Human Rights and Food Sustainability identifies a number of international human rights standards that should be taken into account by law and policy makers when developing normative and policy frameworks governing food systems.
‘While there is a growing consensus about the need to change our food policies and related laws and to rethink food systems to achieve food sustainability, international human rights law provides both concrete guidance for these changes, as well as binding standards which should be reflected in national laws, policies and programmes’ underlines Dr Adriana Bessa, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and author of the publication.
The Research Brief highlights that food systems should contribute to the realization of the most fundamental rights of the individuals and communities living in the territories they operate, without discrimination.
‘We formulate, on this basis, a series of recommendations to governments and the private sector to ensure that food systems contribute to improving food availability, accessibility and adequacy’ explains Dr Adriana Bessa.
‘Protection of workers’ rights, the elimination of child labour, gender equality, environmental protection or the democratic governance of natural resources also constitute key elements to ensure food sustainability’ adds Dr Adriana Bessa.
This Research Brief has been developed in the context of our six-year research project on food sustainability. It aims, on the basis of research carried out in Bolivia and Kenya, to provide evidence-based knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options to improve food sustainability.
The project now is going to apply the food systems assessment framework (FoodSAF) designed in the first three years of the project in other countries in South America and Africa. In addition to Bolivia, transformative pilot actions aiming at fostering more sustainable food systems will be applied in Brazil and Peru. In Africa, our team will also work in Ghana and Zambia.
Olivier Chamard/Geneva Academy
Dr Annyssa Bellal is a Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and our Strategic Adviser on International Humanitarian Law (IHL). She currently works on a research project on armed groups and IHL.
From today until Sunday 7 June, flags with the Geneva Human Rights Platform logo will be flying on the Mont-Blanc Bridge.
In this online event co-organized with the ATLAS Network, prominent women in international law will share their experience and advice through an interactive discussion.
This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2020 edition will have a specific focus on water pollution and scarcity.
This online course aims at unpacking the nature and scope of international human rights law in transitional contexts.
This research project examined the impact of innovation and the development of new information technologies on human rights.
This six-year project aims to provide evidence-based knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability.