Debate Series

Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition - HRtAFN

5, 19, 26 de julho; 6, 13, 20 de setembro; 15, 18 de outubro | 2021 || 14h30-17h30 (GMT+1)

Online event


The Human Right to Adequate Food - HRtAFN, provided for internationally in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979), is a very important issue today, and is considered by the United Nations Organisation (FAO-UN) to be a priority human right.

Aspects relating to hunger and malnutrition afflict thousands of human beings on a planet which even today produces more than enough food for its population, with a more serious impact on certain segments of the population who are already more severely victimised by the inequality and extreme poverty to which they are exposed.

The food sovereignty and security of countries is greatly affected by the neoliberal vision that insists on guaranteeing food as a commodity, to the detriment of the concept of food as a basic need of the people.

In this scenario of the supremacy of agricultural commodities, the human rights violations produced by transnational corporate expansion in the agri-food sphere go beyond hunger and malnutrition.

In addition to issues intrinsic to the quality of the food produced, in which issues related to the use of pesticides and adverse chemical substances, ultra-processed and GM foods, among others, stand out, violations of rights at the socio-environmental level. Thus, as examples, there are issues closely linked to indigenous peoples and traditional populations, access to land, climate change and environmental sustainability, increase in obesity and chronic diseases, blackness, gender, democracy, citizenship and social control.

The deforestation of the Amazon, one of the great global cases, is to a large extent related to the deregulated transnational action on food. This model is also advancing in Portugal, exemplified by the massive introduction of monocultures in the Algarve region to the detriment of traditional agriculture. The world food market, today dominated by this model of expansion, contributes considerably to the increase in global warming. This is a wide-spectrum food system that is not geared towards planetary sustainability and is at the opposite of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (agenda 2030).

The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Malnutrition and Climate Change, pointed out in the report of The Lancet-Jan/2019, consigns facts perfectly framed as violations of the Right to Adequate Food.

The intensification of the dispute over water, led by large transnational agri-food companies, is also an issue related to the HRtAFN.
It is also important to consider the large lobbies of these corporations for the executive powers and parliaments, especially in countries with low-intensity democracies, in order to dilute the existing fragile legislative barriers that could offer some resistance to these expansionist projects.

In addition to reproducing inequalities, perpetuating hunger, offending health and the environment, producing instability in democracies, the current dominant food system, by making life conditions difficult for those who will come after it, also offends intergenerational justice.
The elaboration of an International Treaty on Business and Human Rights is currently under discussion within the United Nations, and the debate is being closely followed by social movements and non-governmental organisations linked to food.

It also includes as a necessary discussion the debate on public policies and the role of the Judicial Systems in guaranteeing and protecting the Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition (HRtAFN).

Thus, the approach of the Round of Debates on the Human Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition will be interdisciplinary and transversal to other Human Rights and other areas of knowledge.

The shift towards sustainable food systems, with the promotion of agro-ecological food production, more than an option, is the necessary and urgent direction to regain sustainability. Eating is a political act that transcends nutrition. The ecological limits of the planet are laid at the table.

This activity will be accessible through the link

Organisers: CES-UC, FIAN-Brazil, FIAN-International, Alliance for Adequate and Healthy Food (Brazil and European Research Institute-EURICONV