The right to food

The origins and development of the right to food

This article provides an overview of the legal milestones of the Right to Food and Nutrition. It begins by focusing on the origins of the right to food and the trabaux preparatoires and other preparatory documents supporting Article 25 of the UDHR. These documents serve to clarify the underlying conceptual foundation and to identify the basis for further developments of the right to food and nutrition.

After reviewing the trabaux preparatoires of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), this article provides an overview of the right to food as it was first legally recognized in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Then, it will identify the legal content of this right as it was defined in General Comment 12. Next, the article will trace the development of the legal and institutional corpus juris of the right to food and nutrition along the analysis of some key elements developed in the general comment in 1999. In its final remarks, the article briefly identifies lessons learned and underlying challenges which will probably orient for the further evolution of the right to food.

The article has been written by Ana María Suarez Franco, from FIAN International, and will be published in 2020 by the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights.