The Evolution of the Concept of Food Security in Human Rights Law
Food security is a right that should be protected as a human right. There are many different causes of lack of access to food, including lack of production or lack of access to food. In the past, the concept of food security has been emphasized in the context of overall availability, and the right to food has often been linked to food production. While this is right in some circumstances, it is not always the case. For example, a marginal resource base may mean that food production is not sufficient for a given population’s nutritional requirements.
Human right to food
The recent global food crisis has impacted many people’s lives. Food supply chains were disrupted, making it difficult for people to get nutritious and safe food. In addition, social protection measures were inadequate, and people had to resort to unethical practices such as scavenging food at dumpsites and relying on food donations to make ends meet.
In Nairobi, Kenya, a study of food insecurity has revealed a range of challenges for vulnerable citizens. Food supply chain disruptions have reduced access to food, reducing affordability and adequacy, and increasing vulnerabilities to food insecurity. However, despite the efforts of government agencies and other organizations, participants in the study reported negative perceptions about the ineffectiveness of these measures.
The right to food is recognized as a basic human right in most countries. However, millions of people still face food insecurity, a condition in which they do not have enough food to feed themselves and their family. This condition is so widespread that it is estimated that one out of every three households in Nairobi is food insecure.
Food security is a critical component of human well-being. It is not only necessary for life, it also ensures that people are healthy. As a result, it is an essential aspect of human rights. A lack of access to healthy food makes it difficult for people to participate in society.
Interdependence between social and economic rights
Food security and food rights are closely linked and intersect with each other. The right to food is defined as the access to adequate food for an active and healthy life. This intersectivity presents intersectoral opportunities for the implementation of rights-based policies. While food insecurity has decreased globally since the early 1990s, new challenges remain and human rights-based approaches are needed to address them.
The interdependence between food security and social and economic rights can be traced to the way actors in unequal power relations negotiate food rights. This process is characterized by the construction of conflictual narratives and the use of language that encourages mobilisation and naming and shaming at the international level. It has also reframed the meaning of the right to food and its relevance.
A right to adequate food and housing is an important element of the right to adequate living conditions. This right must be ensured by a state. This means preventing discrimination against people of disadvantaged backgrounds and implementing national plans of action to promote the right to work. For example, the African Commission found that Angola violated this right when officials there arrested foreign workers engaged in mining activities. These workers had valid work permits, and their arrest was a violation of their right to work.
While this relationship between food security and social and economic rights has a long-standing relationship, it is not always straightforward. The state, as well as corporations, must be involved in the process. These interactions should be carefully analysed to ensure that these rights are relevant to the communities involved.
Existence of international instruments
Food security is a human right requiring states to take appropriate measures to ensure the right to food is not violated. These measures can be individual or international in nature. They should focus on improving food production, food conservation, food distribution, nutrition, and agrarian systems. They should also consider the needs of food-importing countries and ensure equitable distribution of world food supplies.
There is a growing architecture of international instruments that promote effective implementation. In particular, the Universal Periodic Reporting process and the country missions of special rapporteurs strengthen accountability and oversight for state efforts. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reinforces this effort by committing states to a robust follow-up and review framework.
The right to adequate food is a fundamental human right, and the right is well-established under international law. When states ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, they agreed to take maximum steps to realize that right. They also acknowledged the critical role of international cooperation and assistance. They also signed the Right to Food Guidelines and committed to implementing the right to adequate food at national level.
While the right to adequate food is widely recognized, the right is not universal. In international human rights law, the basic provision for this right is found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to a basic standard of living and access to adequate food. The 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) further elaborates this right. The ICESCR, which has ratified by 180 countries, identifies core actions related to food production and nutrition.
Impact of urbanization on food security
Urbanization has led to a shift in food production patterns and consumption patterns, putting pressure on food supplies. In addition, cities are associated with increased consumption of processed foods, which are often laden with chemicals and artificial sweeteners. The problem is made worse by the fact that these types of food are widely available and cheap.
A substantial body of literature has examined the negative effects of urbanisation on food, water, and water security. This includes studies of the negative effects of FDI, urban sprawl, and natural disasters. In addition, a growing number of cities are located in highly urbanized areas, making it difficult to define the boundaries between rural and urban areas.
Further, an increase in urbanization increases the risk of high-risk food insecurity. However, belonging to a more developed country attenuates the negative impact of urbanization. Thus, a 4% urban growth in a less-developed country carries a 66% higher risk of high-risk food insecurity than does a similar 4% in a developed country.
The impact of urbanization on food security is also exacerbated by poor and rural areas. In these regions, food production is affected by adverse climate conditions, and natural disasters affect food supplies. Moreover, volatile global food prices have an adverse effect on these regions, making it vital to implement sustainable urbanisation strategies to reduce the risk of food insecurity.