The ‘Right to Nutrition’ in its Social, Legal and Political Context: A Scoping Study in Two Low-Income Countries

Among diverse approaches to addressing malnutrition, a ‘right to nutrition’ has been suggested as a normative concept that might increase the impact of policy and action. This research will start to explore the views of international agencies and national governments, civil society, legal professions and affected communities, and their understanding of – or desire for – a right to nutrition approach to address the intractable issue of malnutrition and its social determinants.

This research intends to explore how a right to nutrition is understood and implemented both internationally in key global institutions, and in two case-study countries: one, Zambia, whose nutrition policies expound a right to nutrition, and which is a signatory to several international covenants and groups which promote a right to nutrition, but which has yet to move forward in making this a central piece of government legislation or civil action for nutrition in practice; and one, Sierra Leone, which has a notable grassroots movement towards the right to nutrition.

The research will provide initial empirical findings on the potential role of a right to nutrition in framing action under the SDGs and other global goals, from the point of view of those involved in human rights and nutrition policy work.

The culmination of this scoping study will be an international workshop on rights-based approaches to nutrition in early 2019, taking the findings of this study as a starting point for discussions on future research and action for nutrition. 

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