Tag Archives: right to food

A Greener Revolution: Using the Right to Food As a Political Weapon Against Climate Change (G. F. Dumas)

Author(s)

Graham Frederick Dumas

Keywords

Right to Food, Economic and Social Rights, Climate Change, Human Rights and Climate Change

Abstract

This paper discusses the use of human rights, specifically the right to food, as tools for political leverage to encourage states to act on climate change. The right to food is especially appropriate because of the direct impacts it suffers from climate change; as the climate shifts, much scientific research suggests that food production will incur certain deleterious effects. Yet, as the example of India shows, the right to food has been difficult to adjudicate in the past. Indeed, despite favorable caselaw from India’s Supreme Court, and despite an intensive Court-run program designed to force Indian states to distribute food according to the welfare schemes in place, little progress has been made. This is due in part to the unwillingness or inability of the political branches of government to ensure food security to certain segments of the population. At the same time, Brazil has shown a marked improvement in the implementation of the right to food; it has done so well, in fact, that the FAO has held up Brazil as a model for other states. Much of Brazil’s success on the right to food comes from the fact that the program is almost entirely political, rather than judicial. Indeed, buy-in from the political branches of government is arguably the essential component of a successful program to ensure less-justiciable rights like the right to food. For that reason, I suggest that the connection between climate change and the right to food be used by domestic and international activists to increase political pressure on the governments of large, greenhouse-gas-producing states, in an effort to make some of the costs of inaction visible to politicians through the ballot box and the media. Such campaigns are not perfect, and they should not be used to the exclusion of court-focused activism; they should, however, be the backbone of a comprehensive assault on the political status quo regarding climate change.

Citation

(2010) 43 New York University Journal of International Law and Politics 107.

Paper

A Greener Revolution: Using the Right to Food As a Political Weapon Against Climate Change

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The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights (C Gonzalez)

Author

Carmen G. Gonzalez

Keywords

Human rights law, food security, food sovereignty, right to food, biodiversity, WTO, trade policy, international environmental law, IMF, World Bank, international law, climate change, biofuels, agricultural law, international trade law, political economy

Abstract

The global food system is exceeding ecological limits while failing to meet the nutritional needs of a large segment of the world’s population. While law could play an important role in facilitating the transition to a more just and ecologically sustainable food system, the current legal framework fails to regulate food and agriculture in an integrated manner. The international legal framework governing food and agriculture is fragmented into three self-contained regimes that have historically operated in isolation from one another: international human rights law, international environmental law, and international trade law. International trade law has taken precedence over human rights and international environmental law to the detriment of small farmers and the environment. The article analyzes the international legal regime applicable to food and agriculture, explains the ways in which the current regime perpetuates food insecurity and unsustainable cultivation practices, and argues that agriculture should be removed from the purview of the World Trade Organization. The article concludes by sketching out some of the elements of an alternative approach to global governance based on the concept of food sovereignty.

Citation

Natural Resources & Environment, Vol. 26, No. 3, Winter 2012
Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 12-12

Publication

The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights

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Harmonizing Trade in Agriculture and Human Rights: Options for the Integration of … (K. Mechlem)

Author

Kerstin Mechlem (University of Ulster)

Keywords

Agreement on Agriculture, right to food, humanrights, international trade

Abstract

The WTO and the humanrights systems have been created to pursue the same global objective: advancing human welfare. However, while the WTO scheme, including the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA), is concerned with aggregated improvements in global welfare, humanrights focus on the individual and postulate standards that have to be respected even in the pursuit of overall societal goals.

Due to this difference, liberalization of trade in agriculture can have negative impacts on the realization of individual rights, an outcome WTO Members are required to avoid according to humanrights law. Focusing specifically on the right to food, this paper suggests four ways of making agricultural trade rules more complementary to that right: by inserting the right explicitly in a new trade agreement, by interpreting existing or future rules to take account of the right, by invoking the right as an exception to a trade obligation and, most importantly, by shaping the revised AoA, which is being negotiated as part of the Doha Round, to conform to the right to food.

Citation

(2006) 10 Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law 127-190

Paper

Harmonizing Trade in Agriculture and Human Rights: Options for the Integration of the Right to Food into the Agreement on Agriculture

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Global Obligations for the Right to Food (G. Kent)

Editor

George Kent

Keywords

Children, human rights, right to food

Abstract

A child may be born into a poor country, but not a poor world. If global human rights are to be meaningful, they must be universal. Global Obligations for the Right to Food assesses the nature and depth of the global responsibility to provide adequate food to the world’s population.

While governments have a primary responsibility for assuring the right to food for people under national jurisdictions, we as a global community are all responsible. Global Obligations for the Right to Food explores the various actions that should be taken by governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals to ensure that citizens of the world have access to adequate food.

Citation

George Kent (ed), Global Obligations for the Right to Food (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008)

Book

Global Obligations for the Right to Food

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