Right to food

The right to food was first recognised as a fundamental human right in 1948. Since then, Canada and many other  OECD nations have signed several national and international agreements promoting the right to food (for more on the international history, see Rideout et al., 2007).

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25) states “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself [sic] and of his[sic]family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control”.

Further guidance by the FAO in 2005 on the “right to adequate food and the achievement of food security ” stated the “aim is to guarantee the availability of food in quantity and quality sufficient to satisfy the dietary needs of individuals; physical and economic accessibility for everyone, including vulnerable groups, to adequate food, free from unsafe substances and acceptable within a given culture; or the means of its procurement”.

Voluntary guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security were adopted by the 127th Session of the FAO Council, November 2004.