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Food is a human right

Right to Food—CanadaRed background. Crown on top. Text: Keep Calm and Put Food in the Budget

We need food to live. We have a right to live. Therefore, we have a right to food…mostly. The right to food is important for us because so many people with disabilities face barriers to accessing healthy food.  Go to International obligations

People are hungry and have trouble getting healthy food in Canada. You might see this through low ODSP, OW levels. But it also shows up in our cheap junk food system: calories from processed foods are much cheaper than healthy food.

As discussed above Ontario has a Special Diet Allowance and income support programs like ODSP and OW. However, these are not tied to the real cost of housing let alone the other costs of living including Food!

That is why a coalition of groups has advocated for decades to Put Food in the Budget (Ontario).

Email: infopfib@gmail.com
Website: //www.putfoodinthebudget.ca

Food Secure Canada

More right to food: //foodsecurecanada.org/right-food-canada

Right to Food—World

International Right to Food means:

The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for [herself or himself] and [her or his] family, including adequate food, clothing and housing…  The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed

– Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

In its General Comment 12, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) provided: www.escr-net.org/rights/

 

  • Adequacy. The food available for consumption must be appropriate in the prevailing social, economic, cultural, and environmental context.
  • Availability. Everyone should be able to obtain sufficient, quality food either through market systems or directly from land and other natural resources. Diets should contain a mixture of nutrients necessary for a healthy life and physiological needs…
  • Accessibility. Access to food involves non-discrimination, economic accessibility, and physical accessibility. …The price of food should be at such a level that it will not compromise attainment of other basic needs. This may require special programs for vulnerable groups.
  • Sustainability. States must ensure, through the development of appropriate measures and regulation of private actors, that practices impacting on food, land or natural resources do not jeopardise the long-term availability and accessibility of food.

Canada is obligated under international law to provide adequate, available, accessible, sustainable food. (More at //www.escr-net.org/rights/food Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights).

Go to International obligations

As discussed above Ontario has a Special Diet Allowance and income support programs like ODSP and OW. However, these are not tied to the real cost of housing let alone the other costs of living including Food!

That is why a coalition of groups has advocated for decades to Put Food in the Budget.

 

The UN Raporteur

 

 

International Obligations

The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for [herself or himself] and [her or his] family, including adequate food, clothing and housing…  The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed…

Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

In its General Comment 12(link is external), the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) provided:

  • Adequacy. The food available for consumption must be appropriate in the prevailing social, economic, cultural, and environmental context.
  • Availability. Everyone should be able to obtain sufficient, quality food either through market systems or directly from land and other natural resources. Diets should contain a mixture of nutrients necessary for a healthy life and physiological needs, throughout the life cycle and according to gender and occupation. Food should be free from harmful substances and be culturally appropriate.
  • Accessibility. Access to food involves three key elements: non-discrimination, economic accessibility, and physical accessibility. Access to food must be without discrimination on the basis of any prohibited ground. The price of food should be at such a level that it will not compromise attainment of other basic needs. This may require special programs for vulnerable groups. Physical accessibility means that everyone should have access to food, particularly vulnerable groups such as children, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and those affected by natural disaster or conflict.
  • Sustainability. States must ensure, through the development of appropriate measures and regulation of private actors, that practices impacting on food, land or natural resources do not jeopardise the long-term availability and accessibility of food. //www.escr-net.org/rights/food
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