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UN expert supports Mexico right to food constitutional reform

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food [official website], Olivier De Schutter [official profile], announced on Thursday that he supports a Mexican constitutional reform which recognizes the right to food [press release]. The reform targets articles 4 and 27 of the Mexican constitution [text, PDF]. Article 4 guarantees that "[n]o one may be deprived of the fruits of his labor except by judicial decision." Article 27 provides the government the "right to regulate the utilization of natural resources" distribute resources equitably for the public good. Schutter observed that Mexico's progress towards realizing the right to food has been "uneven" [report]. Although the percent of children who are considered underweight in Mexico decreased from 14.2 percent in 1998 to 5 percent in 2006, the overall number of people living in "food poverty" increased 4.4 percent from 2006 to 2008.

Schutter urged governments to reform their legal systems [JURIST report] to fight hunger and promote the right to food in May 2010. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] has historically called for an increased effort to uphold the "fundamental human right" to food [JURIST report] for people around the world who suffer from chronic hunger. The right to adequate food is recognized in Articles 24(2)(c) and 27(3) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 12(2) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and Articles 25(f) and 28(1) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities [texts]. Article 25 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights [text], adopted by the UN in 1948, states that "[e]veryone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food."

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