The Rights to Social Protection and Adequate Food: Human rights‐based frameworks for social protection in the context of realizing the right to food and the need for legal underpinnings
The right to adequate food lies at the heart of the mandate of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). That concept takes into consideration the availability, access and adequacy of food, and that individuals, alone or in community with others, may acquire food through their own production, through purchases with their own funds, or through social transfers.
The interface between the rights to social protection and to adequate food lies primarily in the “transfers” that enable individuals to have physical and financial access to the food they need for an active and healthy life in dignity. The right to adequate food will not be realized through the right to social protection alone, but the latter can play a critical role, for those who are not able to earn a living or grow their own food because of their age, health or disability. Social protection can also be crucial for those who are able to work and do have some resources for food production, but are not able to optimize this because of poverty.
The human rights‐based approach is an empowerment approach that can be expressed as a number of principles. Arguably, enabling legal frameworks for entitlements, accountability and the rule of law are essential for a human rights‐based approach.
This paper intends to contribute to the evolving thinking about the interface between the right to social protection and the right to adequate food, and to advocate for the need for legal underpinnings.