Brussels 15.10.07. Every day 850 millions of children, women and men go to bed hungry. Millions die every year because of hunger and malnutrition. This is unacceptable in a world of abundance.
Food is a human right, recognised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, just like the right to freedom of expression or the right to a fair trial. Hungry people are mainly the people who cannot feed themselves, either because of their own food production or an adequacy of their income. Why? Because these people lack control over basic resources such as land, water or seeds as much as they lack political power and access to justice.
On October 15, FIAN – the international organisation for the Right to Food launches the new Campaign “Face It – Act Now!”. The Launch is hosted by Jean Ziegler, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Luisa Morgantini, Vice-president of the European Parliament and Flavio Valente, Secretary General of FIAN International.
The Campaign highlights cases of the right to food violations and aims to motivate People in Europe to join the struggle against the causes of these violations. In August 2001, for instance, the Ugandan army violently expelled more than 2,000 small farmers from their land in the Mubende district, just to lease it to Kaweri Coffee Plantation Ltd., a subsidiary of the German Neumann Kaffee Group.
The forced displacement has led to increased incidents of illnesses and deaths since the evictees lost much of their access to food, clean water and health care. They are living in self-made makeshifts homes, constructed on the border of the plantation To date, only about two per cent of the evictees have been compensated.
This is the responsibility of the governments of developed countries to avoid policies that can cause hunger in the less developed countries and create “refugees from hunger” – people fleeing from hunger and severe violations of their right to food.
With this international campaign, FIAN demands that the realisation of the right to food becomes a priority of agriculture, development cooperation and consumer protection policies in Europe. Trade and investment agreements should not undermine the right to food in third countries.
This is the reason why the right to food must be firmly implemented in policies of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and its member states.
Furthermore, international financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as private enterprises should be made accountable under international human rights law.
FIAN also demands that a strong individual complaint procedure to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is realised in order to strengthen the position of those whose right to food is being violated.
FIAN calls for the active protection and promotion of the human rights defenders worldwide.
In summary, FIAN urges the European governments and the European Union to assume a leading role in realising the right to food worldwide. Moreover, all governments have to give priority to human rights over vested interests: they shall design their policies in a way that they support and do not violate the right to food at home and abroad.
It’s time to FACE IT and ACT NOW!
For further information on World Food Day Activities, please contact Martin Wolpold-Bosien:firstname.lastname@example.org; +49-177-339 1263
For any request on concerning the Press Conference in Brussels, please contact Marco Appel email@example.com ++32-477628958
FIAN International is the first international organisation to campaign for the realisation of the right to adequate food. FIAN International is a grass-roots oriented non-for profit organisation that has consultative status with the United Nations. FIAN’s vision is a world free from hunger, in which every person enjoys human rights in dignity, in particular the right to adequate food.