A Common Sense Approach to the Right to Food | Food Security | Human Rights

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Despite the growing activism and debate around the right to food in the past decade, there has been little exploration of what the right means in everyday life and in the routine encounters between states and citizens. This paper draws together original qualitative research in nine African, Asian and Latin American countries on how people talk about the right to food. It does so on the assumption that accountability for hunger depends on people being aware of that right. The paper explores what people at risk of hunger have to say about what the right to food means in their location
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    A Common Sense Approach to the Right to Food  Naomi Hossain, Dolf te Lintelo and Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert June 2015 IDS WORKING PAPER Volume  2015  No  458    2 A Common Sense Approach to the Right to Food  Naomi Hossain, Dolf te Lintelo and Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert First published by the Institute of Development Studies in June 2015 IDS Working Paper 458 © Institute of Development Studies 2015 ISSN: 2040-0209 ISBN: 978-1-78118-244-4 A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library. All rights reserved. Reproduction, copy, transmission, or translation of any part of this publication may be made only under the following conditions: ã with the prior permission of   the publisher; or ã with a licence from the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd., 90 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1P 9HE, UK,  or from another national licensing agency; or ã under the terms set out below.  This publication is copyright, but may be reproduced by any method without fee for teaching or nonprofit purposes, but not for resale. Formal permission is required for all such uses, but normally will be granted immediately. For copying in any other circumstances, or for re-use in other publications, or for translation or adaptation, prior written permission must be obtained from the publisher and a fee may be  payable. Available from: Communications and Engagement Unit, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton BN1 9RE, UK Tel: +44 (0) 1273 915637 E-mail: bookshop@ids.ac.uk Web: www.ids.ac.uk/publications IDS is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (No. 877338)    3 A Common Sense Approach to the Right to Food  Naomi Hossain, Dolf te Lintelo and Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert Summary Despite the growing activism and debate around the right to food in the past decade, there has been little exploration of what the right means in everyday life and in the routine encounters between states and citizens. This paper draws together srcinal qualitative research in nine African, Asian and Latin American countries on how people talk about the right to food. It does so on the assumption that accountability for hunger depends on people being aware of that right. The paper explores what people at risk of hunger have to say about what the right to food means in their location; its source and srcins; and responsibilities for upholding it. It concludes that while ideas of the right to food do not generally use international human rights language, an understanding of innate or natural rights to food is ‘common sense’: shared across contexts and groups, and part of how people negotiate their right to food in everyday life. Among other findings, the paper concludes that in a period of rapid economic and social development, the right to food of older people looks particularly fragile, and merits special attention. Keywords: r  ight to food; food price volatility; vernacular rights; human rights; hunger; food security; famine; ageing; food sovereignty; moral economy. Naomi Hossain  is a political sociologist and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. Her work focuses on the politics of poverty and public services, and her current interest is in the politics of hunger and food insecurity. She has recently led two large research projects - the DFID-ESRC funded Food Riots and Food Rights project, as well as the UK Aid- and Irish Aid-funded Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility. Dolf te Lintelo  is a Fellow in the Cities Cluster at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. His research interests concern the politics of social policy and regulatory processes, the role of advocacy coalitions in these, and the ways in which policies structure vulnerabilities for the poor. He has a special interest in urban informal work, young people, food and nutrition security, and social protection. Dolf also leads the Hunger And Nutrition Commitment Index (www.hancindex.org). Alexandra Wanjku Kelbert  is an independent researcher currently working on the UK Aid- and Irish Aid-funded Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility   project. She holds an MA from the Institute of Development Studies. Her interests include food, social change, gender and the ‘Global North’. Alexandra is also a London -based activist and works with female asylum-seekers and refugees.  4 Contents Summary, keywords and author notes 3  Acknowledgements and acronyms 5 Introduction  6 1   Rationale: why popular conceptions of the right to food matter   10 1.1 The right to food in global hunger and food security debates 10 1.2 Rights to subsistence and the moral economy 11 1.3 Vernacular rights talk 12 2   Approach, conceptual framework and methodology  15 2.1 Assumptions, propositions and research questions 15 2.2 Approach, research design and limitations 17 2.3 Tools and analysis 18 3   Popular conceptions of the right to food: research findings from 23 research sites  18 3.1 What does ‘the right to food ’ mean  here? 18 3.2 The substance and limits of the right 19 3.3 Where does the right to food come from? 23 3.4 Responsibilities for enacting the right to food 27 4   Conclusions and implications  29 References  32
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