Human Rights in Food Systems

Realizing the right to food and nutrition is critical for food systems transformation. Building on Switzerland’s strong engagement for human rights-based approaches, the project addresses hunger’s structural causes by ensuring that rights-holders such as small-scale farmers, women and youth can claim their food system-related rights and participate in governance mechanisms, and by supporting duty bearers in the effective implementation of instruments in 14 countries and globally.

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
A nivel mundial
Agricultura y seguridad alimentaria
Derechos humanos
Política agrícola
Derechos humanos (incluidos los derechos de las mujeres)
Política de seguridad alimentaria
Participación democrática y sociedad civil
Política del sector público
01.06.2020 - 31.12.2025
CHF  4’600’000
Contexto 811 million people are still suffering from undernutrition. Small-scale peasants, women, youth and pastoralists among the most affected, as many lack access to land, water and seeds of their choice and other resources on which their livelihoods depend. During the UN Food Systems Summit the international community called for the transformation of this unsustainable food system. Recently new governance instruments were adopted with the strong support of Switzerland: the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP, 2018) and the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition (VGSFSyN, 2021). They need to be translated into national policies and actions in alignment with the International Bill of Human Rights and to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.
Objetivos The most marginalized and poor people affected by hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and climate change have an improved access to healthy, safe, sustainable, affordable and nutritious food by using a human rights-based approach in 14 countries (Cambodia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Uganda, Philippines, India, Nepal, South Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Kenya, Mexico, Bolivia) and globally.
Grupos destinarios

-    Primary beneficiaries are individuals and their households, communities - in 14 countries - which are rights-holders such as peasants, agricultural workers, small farmers, indigenous people, pastoralists, in rural and semi-rural areas, and to some extent vulnerable consumers in peri-urban areas. A special attention is given to address the specific needs of women and young people.

-    Duty bearers such as government officials as well as policy-makers, influencers, decision-makers, representative of international organizations, opinion shapers in academic and research institutions are also important targets at national and international levels.

Efectos a medio plazo

-   Civil society organizations, vulnerable rural populations (women, youth, peasants, pastoralists) are empowered to claim their rights related to food systems and to participate in policy processes.

-   Government officials, policy-makers and other duty-bearers have increased information, knowledge, tools and capacity to translate international human rights instruments (i.e UNDROP, VGSFSyN) into national food regulations and policies with accountability monitoring mechanisms.

-   At global level, the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food is strengthened and UN institutions, regional organisations, the Committee on World Food Security, the SUN Movement, the UN Food Systems Summits follow-ups mechanisms increasingly use human rights to frame food-related regulatory and policy frameworks and system transformations.


Resultados previstos:  

-    Country assessments (food systems and human rights challenges) with implementation plans including participatory and accountability monitoring mechanisms

-    Participatory meetings, training material, tools for rights-holders (right claiming and advocacy)

-    Policy dialogues, capacity building, tools for decision-makers (effective implementation of human rights instruments into national food-related legislations and policies)

-    Public advocacy and outreach (conferences, working groups) at national and global level with information, position papers, campaign material raising awareness on peasants’ rights, the right to food and nutrition and related human rights.

Resultados de las fases anteriores:   The project was developed in extensive discussions with partners, sharing insights, best practices and positive evaluations of the previous right to food / human rights in food systems engagements of SDC (with FIAN International since 2011; with the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food since 2018). In-depth country and context analysis were reviewed and commented by Swiss cooperation offices. The three partial actions were also discussed with FDFA’s human security division, SDC’s Fragility, Conflict & Human Rights Unit, among others.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
Institución académica y de investigación extranjera
Sector privado
Organización suiza sin fines de lucro
Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)
  • Acción Cuaresmal
  • Other Academic Research North
  • Other UN Organisation
  • Sector privado suizo
  • Johns Hopkins University Berman Institute of Bioethics lead of PCFSy Consortium: People-centered Food Systems: Fostering Human Rights-based Approaches (The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Rikolto) Fastenaktion lead of RAISE Consortium (Rights-based and Agroecological Initiatives for Sustainability and Equity in Peasants Communities), Vétérinaires Sans Frontières, 6 regional organisations (SEARICE, DKA, RWA, CEMRIDE, RBM, SOCLA) OHCHR: UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores SDC (a) Global Programme Food Security: “Responsible land based investments”, “Nutrition in City-Ecosystems” and “Crops for Healthy Diets”; (b) Global Programme Health: “Global Regulatory and Fiscal Capacity Building Program to promote healthy diets”; South Cooperation programmes on governance, participation, accountability, land tenure, agrobiodiversity, right to food // Nurturing global policy dialogues on human rights in food systems and Switzerland’s role as member of “Friends of the Right to Food” in Rome, UN Food System Summit follow-up // “Sustainable Food System Country Profiles for Low- and Middle-Income regions” by Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture.
Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    4’600’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    669’221
Fases del proyecto Fase 1 01.06.2020 - 31.12.2025   (Fase en curso)