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Issues in focus

Since he took office, the current Special Rapporteur on the right to food has devoted much attention to the global food crisis, and in particular to examine to what extent the responses adopted at the international and national level to respond to this crisis have been able to integrate the right to food. The Special Rapporteur will continue his endeavours in this area for which a specific page will be set up (link to the OHCHR general page on the global food crisis still under construction).

In addition, the current Special Rapporteur has identified several thematic areas which he will address in depth in the course of his mandate as outlined in his first report to the General Assembly (A/63/278).

These areas include the following topics:

  1. The impact of trade negotiations at WTO on the right to food. The Special Rapporteur conducted a mission to the WTO Secretariat and held consultations with various Member States’ Permanent Representatives to the WTO as well as civil society between June and November 2008. His findings and recommendations can be found in his report : E F S R C A
  2. The contribution of food aid to the realization of the right to food;
    The Impacts of Food Aid on the Human Right to Adequate Food, Report of the Expert Seminar convened by the Special Rapporteur with the support of Rights & Democracy and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, held on 6 November 2008, Ottawa, Canada
  3. Intellectual property rights and their impact on the right to food
    Seed Policies and the right to food, Report of the Special Rapporteur to General Assembly (October 2009): E F S A C R
  4. The contribution of the private sector to the advancement of the right to food
    Agribusiness and the right to food, Report of the Special Rapporteur to the Human Rights Council (March 2010): E F S A C R
  5. Biotechnology and its impact on the right to food;
  6. Women’s rights and the right to food;
  7. Access to land and the right to food. In relation to this topic the Special Rapporteur has been exploring possibilities of cooperating with other relevant special procedures as well as other UN agencies active in this field;
  8. Climate change and the right to food.
  9. Large Scale Land Acquisitions and Leases
    A Set of minimum principles and measures to address the human rights challenge posed by large scale land acquisitions and leases:
    E F S A C R

The previous Special Rapporteur on the right to food had also identified some issues in focus which he addressed in his reports to the then Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly. These issues related to, amongst others, children’s right to food, the world’s hunger refugees, extraterritorial obligations of states on the right to food, trade and food security: the failure at Cancun, transnational corporations and the right to food, water and the right to food, justiciability of the right to food, humanitarian law and humanitarian assistance, the right to food of indigenous people, gender and the right to food, access to land, agrarian reform and the right to food, the right to food and fishing livelihoods.