The Right to Food in Europe

Started in December 2022

In the world today, around 750 million people are hungry, two billion people are food insecure, and three billion people are malnourished, primarily in the Global South. With the Covid-19 crisis and armed conflicts, including the war in Ukraine, food insecurity has also been increasing in Europe. While responses to this food crisis in this continent are often based on social assistance or food aid, a few actors ask for the right to food to be put at the center of these responses.

A human rights-based approach to fight food insecurity, with the right to food at its core, has been effective in improving food security in countries like Brazil (between 2003 and 2014), Bolivia (between 2006 and 2019), and India (between 2001 and 2014).

The Geneva Academy has been working on the right to food since 2008, notably by providing expertise on the realization of sustainable development goals with the right to food. Between 2015 and 2022, we supervised the legal aspects of two interdisciplinary research projects on the right to food in the Global South – DEMETER and Towards Food Sustainability – jointly funded by the Research for Development Programme (r4d) of the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Objectives

In this project, we will provide legal expertise to a variety of stakeholders on the implementation of the right to food, and on the right to food as a legal basis for just transformation toward sustainable food systems in Europe. We will also identify lessons learned from the recognition of the right to food in the Constitution of the Canton of Geneva back in 2023.

Partners

Our partners in this project include the FAO, FIAN International, Fondazione Mater, Refettorio Geneva, Fondation Leenaards, and the ECI Campaign.

Presentations

Dr. Christophe Golay, Senior Research Fellow, gave a keynote speech at the side event under the title 'Right to Food: Right to a Future' that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, together with WeltHungerHilfe, Right to Food Kenya, and OHCHR organized in the framework of the United Nations Civil Society Conference that took place in Nairobi on May 9 and 10, 2024. The presentation can be rewatched here.

RESEARCHERS

Picture of Christophe Golay

Christophe Golay

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Christophe Golay's expertise relates to economic, social and cultural rights, the right to food and the rights of peasants.

Publications

The Right to Food for a Just Transition Towards Sustainable Food Systems

The Right to Food for a Just Transition Towards Sustainable Food Systems

October 2023

Christophe Golay, Magali Ramel

Fian International

View More >

Cover of the publication

Building Back Better with the Rights to Health, Food and Social Security

December 2022

Christophe Golay, Steven L. B. Jensen and Amanda Lyons

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

Cover of the publication

The Rights to Food and Food Sovereignty in UNDROP

December 2022

Christophe Golay

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

Download >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

ILGA World Logo News

In Highlight: ILGA World Database

28 March 2024

Via its DHRTTDs Directory, the Geneva Human Rights Platform provides a comprehensive list and description of such key tools and databases. But how to navigate them? Which tool should be used for what, and by whom? This interview helps us understand better the specificities of the March highlight of the directory: ILGA World Database.

Read more

food in a graph shape News

New Paper Examines How Environmental Damage Caused by Conflict Effects the Global Food System

18 April 2024

Our latest Research Brief examines the myriad consequences that accompany damage rendered upon food systems during armed conflict.

Read more

Open dump Training

Protecting Human Rights and the Environment

2-20 September 2024

Participants in this training course, made of two modules, will examine the major international and regional instruments for the promotion of human rights and the environment, familiarizing themselves with the respective implementation and enforcement mechanisms.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

11-15 November 2024

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Plastic pollution on an Italian shore Project

Unpacking the Human Right to a Healthy Environment: Definition, Implementation and Impact

Started in January 2022

This research aims at mainstreaming the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment and the protection it affords in the work of the UN Human Rights Council, its Special Procedures and Universal Periodic Review, as well as in the work of the UN General Assembly and UN treaty bodies.

Read more

Crops view from the sky Project

The Right to Food in Europe

Started in December 2022

This research will provide legal expertise to a variety of stakeholders on the implementation of the right to food, and on the right to food as a legal basis for just transformation toward sustainable food systems in Europe. It will also identify lessons learned from the 2023 recognition of the right to food in the Constitution of the Canton of Geneva.  

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Between Science-Fact and Science-Fiction Innovation and Ethics in Neurotechnology

published on May 2024

Milena Costas, Timo Istace

Read more

Cover Page of Research Brief Publication

Unpacking the Climate Migration Extremism Nexus Mapping the Coping Strategies of Kenyan Pastorialists

published on April 2024

Erica Harper, Yosuke Nagai

Read more