HRC 43 Statement on Item 3: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

3 March 2020

Thank you, Madam President. I make this statement also on behalf of the Coalition of African Lesbians and the Sexual Rights Initiative.

We welcome the Special Rapporteur's report’s emphasis on the interconnectedness and indivisibility not only of human rights but of the structures and institutions that threaten, ignore and infringe on these rights and ultimately the right to food.  

We wish to highlight the intersection of gender, access to land and the right to food on the African continent. While there has been significant progress made through work being done at the ACHPR, women's ownership, control and access to land and property rights continue to be infringed upon by discriminatory laws.

Rural farming is an important consideration for the protection of traditional farming cultures. Recent studies have shown traditional farming practices as contributing to the maximization of local food supplies, maintaining indigenous crop varieties, biodiversity, enhancing food security and protecting natural resources.   

We highlight the work of groups who bring to attention the crucial role of seed protection in the realisation of food sovereignty, and are mobilizing against the criminalization of seed saving, industrialization, poisoning and impoverishment of indigenous food systems through GMOs, patenting and intellectual property rights. 

We implore the Council to take directive from this report to work toward the eradication of hunger in a manner that takes into account the effect of patriarchal, capitalist and neo-liberal institutions and values on realisation of all human rights.