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NEPAL: INSEC demands government to ensure people’s right to food

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food_shortage.jpgInformal Sector Services Centre (INSEC) has asked the government to take effective measures to guarantee its people’s right to food, especially in western parts of the country, which is currently reeling from chronic food shortages.

INSEC, who is FORUM-ASIA's member based in Kathmandu has issued a statement on 16 October 2008 to mark World Food Day, where it asked the government to ensure food sovereignty by applying human rights principles of non-discrimination, accountability, participation, and access to remedies in its policies and programmes.

INSEC reminded the government that the UN World Food Programme’s warning that 2.5 million people in 12 districts of mid and western regions of Nepal are in urgent need of food aid while soaring food prices have left 3.9 millions vulnerable to hunger.

Nepal’s Interim Constitution has guaranteed right to food sovereignty in Article 18 which the statement lauds as a positive step towards ensuring people’s right to food.

The Supreme Court of Nepal on 25 September had directed the government to take measures to supply food to 12 districts worst hit by shortage of food on the basis of the provision.

The statement added that Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), which Nepal is a party to, recognizes “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions”.

The statement also added that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ promotes right to food in Article 25.

INSEC has recommended the government to implement the recent Supreme Court verdict, provisions of ICESCR, concluding observations of the Committee on the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and establish effective mechanisms and structures to complement government policies to end the state of hunger in Nepal.