UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Presents Report on Human Rights Framework for Food Security

Skyrocketing prices continue to threaten the right to food, UN expert Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food says 10 September 2008: Presenting his latest report to the Human

Rights Council in Geneva, Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on the

Right to Food, said rising food prices continue to jeopardize the right to

food, stressing that “any potential solution to the problem must be viewed

through the lens of human rights.”

He said international assistance and cooperation

are critical for achieving the right to food under international human rights

law. Pointing towards the role of agrofuels production in food price

volatility, he said discussions on their future production should be guided by

human rights considerations. He also stressed that the Council must ensure that

acting in the interests of tackling climate change does not impede food

protection and protecting human rights. De Shutter's report highlights the

impacts of the choices to be made on the right to food, placing them in the

framework of States' obligations domestically and internationally. It concludes

that the increase in food prices has had a severe negative impact on the right

to food of the poorest households.

The report calls on the Human Rights Council

to, among other actions: contribute to the discussion of a global partnership

for agriculture and food, ensuring that it includes attention to human rights

dimensions; encourage national strategies to realize the right to food; and

encourage an international consensus on agrofuels that avoids negative impacts

on food prices and ensures that their production respects the full range of

human rights.

During the interactive dialogue following the report's

presentation, participants supported the recommendation for a global response

to the world food crisis to be guided by a human rights framework. Several also

stressed the need to address the link between high oil and food prices and the

impacts of biofuel production. [UN

press release] [UN

press release (Human Rights Council Discussion)] [The