The right to adequate food is a fundamental human right.  Yet, violations of the right to adequate food, particularly forced displacement or eviction from their land occur with impunity worldwide, particularly amongst indigenous or marginalized peoples.  In times of war, food, food storage and farming infructure are destroyed and food is often used as a political weapon.  In many regions, groups are denied access to productive resources - especially women who have no rights over land, even though they are often responsible for the production, processing and preparation of food for their families.

According to the FAO, nearly 1 billion people go hungry every day.  Even more people - around two billion people - get enough food but are malnourished because they cannot afford good quality, nutritionally adequate food rich in nutrients.  Mothers and fathers struggle to feed their families, knowing that without adequate food, children will be stunted in their physical and intellectual development and may be therefore condemned to a life of poverty and hunger.

Yet hunger is not inevitable, or a simple fact of life.  It is the direct result of human actions and policies.  The current global food crisis, for example, is caused by national and international policies that have rapidly pushed up global food prices.  And, as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food argues, the poor are hungry and malnourished not because there is no food, but because they cannot afford to buy the food that is available - especially when prices have risen so radically.  Focusing attention on the human right to adequate food should be at the center of government policies.

UN Report: The Right to Water
With other NGOs, CESR contributed to the production of this Guide to the human right to water of the World Health Organization and the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights. This Guide outlines the scope and content of the legal framework for the right to water, as well as highlighting key issues in practice.
Guatemala: Rights or Privileges? Time to Decide
Guatemala is not a poor country, but its resources are not being used to ensure the realization of economic and social rights in the country. This report focuses on the rights to health and to education, but the right to food is also addressed through a focus on the shocking fact that Guatemala has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world.
Ghana: Privatization and Water Sector Reform in Ghana (PDF)
Public Citizen, along with other NGOs, including CESR, conducted a fact-finding mission to examine how the privatization of water in Ghana would affect affecting the right to water, particularly through affordability and accessibility for poor residents in both rural and urban areas.
Afghanistan: The Right to Food in Conflict
The right to food for people living in conflict zones - where food supplies are often most vulnerable and uncertain - is well established in international law and practice. This report examines numerous violations to the right to food in Afghanistan. Although food had long been a problem in Afghanistan, the U.S.-led war against the country exacerbated and worsened the food situation drastically.
Occupied Palestinian Territories: Thirsting for Justice (PDF)
Control over water resources has long been a central point of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians since Israel was established in 1948. For this report, CESR worked with local Palestinian NGOs, including the Palestinian Environmental NGO Network (PENGON) and the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), to document violations of Palestinians’ human right to water.
Afghanistan: CESR Submission to UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
CESR submitted this extensive letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, detailing the effects of war on the right to food of the Afghan people in relation to the legal basis for the right to food in situations of armed conflict.
Bolivia goes hungry on World Food Day
CESR has collaborated on a new report addressing hunger and food insecurity in Bolivia. This October 16, as the international community marks World Food Day, it behoves us to remember that hunger is not the inevitable result of natural factors. Rather, it is the direct ramification of deliberate political choices made by those in power.