The right to food now stands on a “legal grounding” and, as such, it can be legitimately considered as a "human right”. This is the key message put forward by Olivier De Schutter, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food at the United Nations, in his final report after six years of study.
The De Schutter document features a review of laws from all over the world. While other rights have better defined limits and more protection, it argues that the right to food has been largely neglected. However, conception is changing and a new understanding is being reached, above all in the last couple of decade in places like Latin America and many African countries, where it figures in constitutions and among civil laws. South Africa, Kenya, and Mexico have been pioneers. Others, like Brazil and Argentina, have adopted specific provisions for “Food and Nutrition Security”.
“Where progress has been made in realizing the right to food,” the Catholic University of Leuven professor writes, "it is down to the multiple interlocking contributions of different State and non-State actors who make each other accountable.” The De Schutter report will be one of the fundamental studies in the revision of voluntary guidelines on the right to food adopted by FAO in 2004.