PRF - SYNTHESIS - The right to food: Reflecting on the past and future possibilities


  • Nadia Lambek Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish LLP



right to food, human rights, sustainable food systems, new rights, food sovereignty


As scholars and activists met in Waterloo, Canada in September 2014 to discuss progress and obstacles in adopting the right to food, similar discussions were being held by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and among civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements around the globe. These parallel discussions marked an important milestone as well as political moment in the history of the right to food: the tenth anniversary of the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security. Together, the various discussions provide an important opportunity to assess the right to food, not only for how it has been implemented as a legal doctrine by states and international institutions, but more broadly for how the right to food has and could be used as a frame for collective action and as an analytical tool to understand our food systems. Indeed, while the right to food is at its core a legal doctrine, it has been used and framed in a number of respects as a broader concept and tool by actors over the years.

Author Biography

Nadia Lambek, Cavalluzzo Shilton McIntyre Cornish LLP

Nadia Lambek is a public interest lawyer. She served as an advisor to former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, assisting on all aspects of the mandate.  In 2014, she worked with the Global Network for the Right to Food and the Civil Society Mechanism to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in conducting a critical retrospective on right to food implementation.  For this project, she authored civil society's contribution to the 41st session of the CFS, entitled 10 Years of the Right to Adequate Food Guidelines: Progress, Obstacles and the Way Ahead.  She has numerous publications on food systems including, Rethinking Food Systems: Structural Challenges, New Strategies and the Law (co-editor/author, Springer, 2014) and was editor-in-chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal which issued a volume dedicated to food issues in 2010.  She currently practices in the areas of workers rights, human rights and equality law in Toronto, Canada and continues to do research, consulting and educational work on right to food and food systems issues.




How to Cite

Lambek, N. (2015). PRF - SYNTHESIS - The right to food: Reflecting on the past and future possibilities. Canadian Food Studies La Revue Canadienne Des études Sur l’alimentation, 2(2), 68–74.