Chronic hunger - in a world of abundance - is a silent scandal. It is unacceptable that in a world of plenty over 850 millions of children, women and men go to bed hungry every day. Hunger and malnutrition kill in many ways: insufficient and low quality food, contaminated water and the resulting diseases are all part of the same problem, with disastrous consequences. Millions die every year.
People do not go hungry because of food scarcity only and less then 10 percent of the hunger is due to acute situations of starvation, natural disasters and civil wars.
This world has more than sufficient for everyone, but not everyone gets his or her share. Hungry people are mainly people who cannot feed themselves, be it through their own production or an adequate income. They lack control over basic resources like land, water or seeds just as they lack political power and access to justice.
Food is a human right; just like freedom of expression, freedom from torture or the right to a fair trial. Already back in 1948 – as a result of centuries of struggle for dignity, against oppression and discrimination – the United Nations approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It recognises food as a human right equal to all other rights. The right to food is inherent to every human being, everywhere in the world, at any time. We can all claim it in case it is violated. As rights-holders we are all on an equal footing.
The majority of states – your state too! - has signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – the international treaty establishing the right to food as part of international law. Your state – just as all signatory states – has the legally binding obligation to respect, protect and fulfil the human right to food.
Your government is responsible at the national and at the international level. Your government is not only responsible at home. As member of Intergovernmental Organizations, such as the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the UN (FAO), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Bank your government must implement actions, policies and regulations to eliminate hunger and promote the right to food worldwide.
When people are evicted or forced to migrate to make room for large “development projects”, when their village wells are contaminated by trans-national mining companies, when their land and their subsistence production is replaced by large-scale plantations to produce animal feed or biofuel for export – then your government has to act!
When people are increasingly induced to eat low quality food, contaminated by pesticides, genetically modified organisms, hormones and preservatives, because large seed and food companies monopolize the food system and place profits over the dignity and the quality of life for all – then your government has to act!
Hold your government accountable and join our call for action! If you don’t do it, nobody will do it for you!
We call on all governments to give priority to human rights over vested interests. They shall design their policies in such a way that supports and does not violate the right to food – at home and abroad. We urge European governments and the European Union to assume a leading role in realising the right to food worldwide.
We demand that:
- The realisation of the right to food becomes a priority for agriculture, development cooperation and consumer protection policies in Europe;
- trade and investment agreements do not undermine the right to food in third countries;
-The right to food is firmly implemented in policies of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and its member States;
- International financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as private enterprises are made accountable under international human rights law;
- A strong individual complaint procedure to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is realized. The complaint procedure must strengthen the position of those whose right to food is being violated.
- Human rights defenders worldwide are actively protected and promoted. People risk their lives in the struggle for the right to food – they are entitled to protection.
Act now! You can make a difference!
Become a right to food promoter: all over the world people are getting organized to struggle for their rights – you too can become part of this global network.
- Upload your picture to show your support – hunger has a face, the struggle against it too!
- Sign our urgent action letter campaigns to directly support people whose right to food is being violated.
- Join FIAN for ongoing campaign activities!
This call for action with all its signatures and pictures will be presented to the European Parliament and national governments all across Europe. It is issued by FIAN, the international right to food organisation. FIAN takes concrete action on violations of the right to food all around the globe and has consultative status with the UN.