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Special Rapporteur on the right to food

Two children receiving food. © EPA / Farooq Khan

Purpose of the mandate

Hunger and food insecurity are global problems. According to the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (2019)1 , more than 820 million people in the world were still hungry in 2018. This problem is likely to get worse given the expected increase in the world’s population and the stress on natural resources.

This mandate was created to address the need for an integrated and coordinated approach to promoting and protecting people’s right to food.

Learn what the right to food means, and how it intersects with other human rights

About the mandate

The mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food was originally established by the Commission on Human Rights in April 2000 by resolution 2000/10. Following the replacement of the Commission by the Human Rights Council in June 2006, the mandate was endorsed and extended by the Human Rights Council by its resolution 6/2 of 27 September 2007.

Learn more about the mandate and the resolutions that established it

Current mandate holder

Mr. Fakhri is a professor at the University of Oregon School of Law where he teaches courses on human rights, food law, development, and commercial law. He is also the director of the Food Resiliency Project in the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. He was appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to food by the Human Rights Council in March 2020 and assumed his functions on 1 May 2020.

Read Mr. Michael Fakhri’s full biography

Latest thematic reports

Vision report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food: In the present report, submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 43/11, the newly appointed Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, provides an outline of the direction that he intends to take during his tenure, including his vision of the areas of concern and priority issues that will inform his future thematic reports. View report page | View document A/HRC/46/33

The right to food in the context of international trade law and policy:
In his first report, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, conveys to the General Assembly that trade policy has primarily focused on economic frameworks and has either ignored or marginalized people’s human rights concerns. At the same time, human rights policy has provided a powerful sociopolitical critique of trade but does not offer an institutional alternative to the existing regime. Neither approach has adequately responded to climate change. The present report blends trade and human rights perspectives and provides principles and an institutional map that can improve understanding of the right to food anew in political, economic and ecological terms. View report page | View document A/75/219

Critical perspective on food systems, food crises and the future of the right to food: In the present report, the Special Rapporteur offers a critical perspective on the trends that have led to this reality and a review of new developments that have the potential to change the status quo. She also looks to the future, highlighting the roles and responsibilities of key players in advancing the right to food. View report page | View document A/HRC/43/44

Sustainable Development Goal 2 and the right to food: This report focuses on the second Sustainable Development Goal as a potentially transformative tool to advance people’s full enjoyment of the right to food, as well as other economic, social and cultural rights. View report page | View document A/74/164

Fishery Workers and the right to food: The Special Rapporteur outlines the obligations of States to improve human rights protection for fishery workers, particularly of women, children and migrant workers who face the most severe forms of exploitation. View report page | View document A/HRC/40/56

Latest country reports

Mission to Zimbabwe (18 to 28 November 2019)
View document A/HRC/43/44/ADD.2

Mission to Azerbaijan (1 to 11 October 2019)
View document A/HRC/43/44/ADD.1


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Call for input

Deadline for submissions: 19 June 2020
Also in Français


Interview of the Special Rapporteur with FAO

Former mandate holders

Ms. Hilal Elver (Turkey)
2014-April 2020

Mr. Olivier De Schutter (Belgium)

Mr. Jean Ziegler (Switzerland)
2000-April 2008