News | 17-11-2014
Nepal Extraterritorial Obligations

Right to adequate food is reaffirmed as a critical issue in Nepal

A new report submitted to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) asks the State of Nepal to incorporate the right to adequate food and nutrition from a human rights perspective into the new constitution and to ensure its implementation.

Woman and girl plucking up tender leaves from a stinging nettle plant. Photo by: Rajendra Kumar Basnet

Heidelberg, 17.11.2014 - According to the report "The Right to Adequate Food in Nepal", submitted to the UN CESCR by FIAN Nepal, the lack of enjoyment of the right to adequate food remains a critical issue in the South-Asian country, which is being reviewed today by the UN CESCR in its 53rd session in order to verify Nepal's compliance with human rights.

In its parallel report, FIAN Nepal highlights severe shortcomings with regard to the implementation of the right to adequate food, like endemic discrimination and social exclusion; insufficient and insecure access to and ownership of agricultural land, forests and other natural resources; lack of protection from forced evictions and displacement; discriminatory access to income and employment under fair conditions; shortcomings with regard to the access to water for drinking  and irrigation; lack of social protection and social security. Further obstacles for the realization of the right to adequate food in Nepal are the absence of operational laws, the lack of a comprehensive national strategy on food and nutritional security, and measures to hold authorities accountable.

According to the Nepal Living Standard Survey 2010/2011, around 25% of the population of Nepal lives below the poverty line; 41% of children under the age of five years are stunted, nearly one third of them is underweight. The prevalence of stunting is even more than 60% in hills and mountains of Mid-West and Far-West regions of Nepal, according to the Nepal Demographic and Health Survey 2011.  Indigenous people, dalits, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities, former bonded labourers, landless people, persons with disabilities and persons with HIV/Aids are particularly affected of violations of the right to adequate food, with  women, children and elderly suffering disproportionately.

In its report, FIAN Nepal is asking the State of Nepal to adopt all measures to incorporate the right to adequate food, including food sovereignty and nutrition with a gender perspective and the right to water, into the new Constitution and to ensure their direct applicability and implementation; and to adopt a comprehensive national strategy to ensure food and nutrition security for all, particularly targeting to the marginalized and disadvantaged groups of society.

FIAN Nepal and FIAN International delegates  attend the session of the UN Committee in Geneva this week to present the report as well as to enter into dialogue with the committee members during a hearing and a lunch briefing on the matter.

Further information:

Watch a video of the report's presentation before the UN CESCR

See the report The Right to Adequate Food in Nepal

See the List of Issues in relation to the third periodic report of Nepal