International Economic Law and the Right to Food
RETHINKING FOOD SYSTEMS: STRUCTURAL CHALLENGES, NEW STRATEGIES, AND THE LAW (Nadia Lambek, Adrienna Wong, Leah Brilmayer & Priscilla Claeys, eds,) Springer, 2014.
25 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2013 Last revised: 21 Mar 2015
Date Written: January 23, 2013
This chapter examines the historic and current policies and practices that have contributed to food insecurity in the global South. It analyzes the impact of international economic law on the patterns of trade and production that perpetuate food insecurity, and recommends concrete measures that the international community might take through law and regulation to promote the fundamental human right to food. Part I provides a short introduction to the right to food framework and its implications for international trade, investment, and finance. Part II places the current food crisis in historical perspective by discussing the trade and aid policies that laid the foundation for food insecurity in the global South from colonialism until the early 1980s. Part III explains how food insecurity was exacerbated by the free market reforms implemented in the global South in the last three decades pursuant to structural adjustment programs mandated by international financial institutions and to multilateral and bilateral trade agreements. Part IV discusses the impact on food security of the financial crisis, the climate crisis, and the growing acquisition of agricultural lands in the global South by foreign investors. Part V describes concrete steps that states could take to respect, protect and fulfill the right to food, both nationally and globally. Part VI concludes with a variety of proposals to better integrate human rights law, environmental law, and international trade and investment law, so as to create a more enabling global environment for the realization of the right to food.
Keywords: human rights law, food security, right to food, biodiversity, WTO, trade policy, environmental law, colonialism, post-colonial studies, IMF, World Bank, international law, climate change, biofuels, agricultural law, international trade law, international investment law, bilateral investment treaties
JEL Classification: F13, F18, F54, Q17, Q56, N50, O24, K32, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation