Media Advisory: SAHRC to launch Right To Food Campaign
Attention: Editors and Reporters
14 March 2014
THE RIGHT TO FOOD is a human right recognised under national and international law, which protects the right of people to access food and feed themselves, either by producing their food or by purchasing it.
The right to food is linked to one’s right to life and dignity and requires that food be available, accessible and adequate for everyone without discrimination.
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The South African Human Rights Commission has decided to use this month of March, celebrated as the Human Rights Month in the country, to launch its Right To Food Campaign.
As the SAHRC we believe the right to food means that every home must have access to adequate food at all times. If a home or person does not enjoy this level of access, they are food insecure.
Under a rights based system such as ours, government must provide an enabling environment in which people can adequately access food or procure food for themselves and their families. In order to purchase food, a person must have access to an income. Part of such an enabling environment, in circumstances of food insecurity is access to social security for those people and families that do not have an income.
In South Africa, everyone should enjoy access to their basic needs in a dignified manner. There is no need more fundamental to living a dignified life than the right to food.
Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) obliges states “to recognise the right of everyone to adequate food and requires active interventions on the part of states to counteract hunger.” General Comment No. 12 of the ICESCR states that “The right to adequate food is realised when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.”
Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 108 of 1996 recognises that “everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water.” And “the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of these rights.”
The South African government has committed, through policy instruments such as Integrated Food Security Strategy (2002) (IFSS) to eradicate hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity by 2015
In addition, goal one of the Millennium Development Goals is to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.
The SAHRC will launch the Right To Food Campaign at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Thursday, the 20th March 2014.
The launch of the Campaign is a culmination of months of meetings and Indabas that the SAHRC embarked upon in all the Nine provinces.
Government departments responsible for the provision of food have been invited to attend the launch.
The Launch will be held as follows:
Date: 20 March 2014
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton
For RSVP and further information, please contact:
Alucia Sekgathume: External Communications Officer
Tel: 011 877 3627/3634