GRC honoured to be mentioned in the 2020 Annual Report of the Special Rapporteur of the Right to food
Global Rights Compliance is pleased to be recognised in the latest 2020 annual report of the Special Rapporteur on right to food titled ‘Critical perspective on food systems, food crises and the future of the right to food’. The report analyses effect of conflict crises on food security and touches upon many themes, including the root cause of starvation in conflict being “[p]rotracted conflict, local insecurity and violence” which disrupt “agricultural production and threaten livelihoods, accentuating negative coping strategies and deepening vulnerability to shocks.” (para 44)
In relation the plight of the Rohingyas, it highlights that:
“Myanmar had disregarded this obligation [to protect civilians from hunger] and resorted to “forced starvation” to carry out an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Rohingya people in Rakhine province. This widespread and systematic violence produced massive numbers of deaths and forced displacements, leading more than 800,000 Rohingya to seek refuge in neighbouring Bangladesh. Two years later, the Rohingya minority continues to face food insecurity, poverty, malnutrition and severe health issues.” (para 47)
Despite such widespread use of starvation as a method of warfare, the report states that
“the Security Council has not yet implemented that landmark resolution [UNSC 2417] to condemn those using hunger as a weapon of war or unlawfully denying humanitarian access to civilians in need of assistance.”
And further appreciates that “organisations such as Action Against Hunger and Global Rights Compliance have consistently called for the Security Council to implement resolution 2417 (2018) to address ongoing food crises in conflict-affected areas” noting our analysis on starvation in Rohingya context. (para 49)
The 2020 report incidentally marks the close of the current Special Rapporteur, Hilal Elver’s mandate and serves as her final presentation to the 42nd session of Human Rights Council in her official capacity. The report concludes that, despite the Sustainable Development Goal of “zero hunger” and malnutrition by 2030, the realisation of the right to food remains a distant, if not impossible, reality for far too many. 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.
GRC have been privileged to have engaged with and supported the work of the Special Rapporteur since 2018, including panel events during the 39th and 42nd session of the Human Rights Council which looked at man-made famines and the deliberate starvation. Special Rapporteur also features in our story in focus section on GRC’s starvationaccountability.org
GRC have been engaged on the issue of starvation since 2017 in conjunction with The Netherlands’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Welt Hunger Hilfe, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, and a range of civil society organisations, principally in Yemen, South Sudan and Syria. GRC, in partnership with the World Peace Foundation, are proud recipients of grant funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for the project ‘Accountability for Mass Starvation: Testing The Limits of the Law’.
For more on GRC’s engagement with the Special Rapporteur and it’s starvation work in Rohingya and other conflict-affected regions, see starvationaccountability.org