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Rule of Law for Food Systems Transformation

Date of Publication: 
Monday, October 16, 2023
About This Publication: 

In 2022, nearly 2.4 billion people did not have access to adequate food and an estimated 3.1 billion could not afford a healthy diet. As the only global intergovernmental organization exclusively devoted to promoting the rule of law to advance peace and sustainable development, IDLO sees the rule of law as a vital enabler of food systems transformation to enhance food security and nutrition for all.

IDLO’s policy brief, Rule of Law for Food Systems Transformation, highlights three key elements of achieving food systems transformation through the rule of law:

  • Empowering the most food insecure people to claim their rights,
  • Strengthening food systems governance through sound legal and regulatory frameworks and effective institutions; and
  • Improving and safeguarding equitable access to land, water and natural resources.

Drawing on these insights, the policy brief issues a call to action in the form of key recommendations for policymakers and practitioners, namely to:

  1. Empower food insecure people and communities to use the law and pathways to justice to realise their rights.
  2. Embrace a feminist approach to the rule of law and food security that centres women and girls as rights-holders, food consumers and food producers.
  3. Improve food systems governance through fair and effective laws, including constitutional provisions on the right to adequate food and transparent and accountable institutions.
  4. Invest in durable rule of law solutions to address the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition by strengthening the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.
  5. Strengthen equitable land, water and natural resource governance through the protection of diverse tenure systems, including customary rights to land and other resources.
  6. Deliver food systems transformation within planetary environmental boundaries, using the rule of law to protect biodiversity and contribute to climate mitigation and adaptation.
  7. Champion the rule of law as an enabler of food systems transformation through multilateral cooperation, partnerships and policy-relevant evidence.


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