Misconception #1 about the Right to Food: A Right to Food Implies that the Very Existence of Hunger is a Violation of Human Rights
We hold that the right to food is a human right as intrinsically important as the right to freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, or freedom of expression. Some people hold to a narrow view of human rights as restricted to civil and political rights, but international civil society and more than 120 states recognize the right to food as a human right. As with any human right, the right to food can be violated or breached.
We are not saying, however, that the mere existence of hunger constitutes a violation of human rights. A human rights violation is an act of a government, or of other organized groups, such as national, religious or other organized groups, such as in Bosnia or Sudan. Deprivation– lacking access to food– can have many causes. In some cases a government does its best to keep its obligations, yet people still go hungry due to natural calamities or inadequate resources. Only a clear failure of a government to fulfill its obligations can be termed a breach of the right to food.
Adapted from FIAN 1996, Twelve Misconceptions about the Right to Food as a Human Right. Heidelberg: FIAN International Secretariat.
World Hunger News
For the past 40 years, since its founding in 1976, the mission of World Hunger Education Service is to undertake programs, including Hunger Notes, that
- Educate the general public and target groups about the extent and causes of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and the world
- Advance comprehension which integrates ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on the world food problem
- Facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions
- Promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions.