Implementing International Human Rights Standards to Ensure Food Sustainability

A women in a field of corn A women in a field of corn

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.

Rethinking the Objectives of Food Systems

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.

HUman Rights and Food Sustainability Food Systems

Research for Development

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.

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Students of our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict during a class News

Applications for our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict are Open!

25 March 2019

Our Executive Master in International Law in Armed Conflict, designed for professionals with demanding jobs and responsibilities,  is one of the few part-time, innovative and intellectually challenging programmes in international law in armed conflict offered today.

Read more

Cover page of the book News

‘The 1949 Geneva Conventions: A Commentary’ is Now Available in Paperback!

27 February 2018

In this ground-breaking commentary, conducted under the auspices of the Geneva Academy, over sixty international law experts investigate the application of the Geneva Conventions and explain how they should be interpreted today.

Read more

Tractor at work in a field (Mombaldone, Piemonte, NW Italy) Event

Public Conference: Peasants' Rights in Europe

30 September 2019, 13:30-17:00

This public conference will discuss the implementation of the UN Declaration on the rights of peasants in Europe and its contribution to the SDGs and the UN Decade of Family Farming.

Read more

South Sudan, Akobo, women collect water at a water point Training

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals

9-13 September 2019

This training course explores the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and provides participants with practical tools to include ESCR and the SDGs in their work.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

7 October - 24 November 2019

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en œuvre.

Read more

Session of a UN Treaty Body Project

Treaty Bodies Individual Communications Procedures

Started in January 2019

Read more

A woman worker at a construction site in India Project

Human Rights and Gender Equality in the Context of Business Activities

Started in June 2018

This project aims to support the UN working group’s consultation process and thus contribute the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality in relation to the business sector via research on international human rights law and policy related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities, and the organization of a global conference in Geneva.

Read more