Food Security: A Basic Need for Humans

  • Kamrul Hossain
  • Dele Raheem
  • Shaun Cormier


Food is a basic human right. Food security promotes the right to food as guaranteed within the framework of human rights and at the end ensures overall human security. The right has been developed significantly over the last number of decades, not only to enhance the right to food but also to protect the most fundamental human right—the right to life—as it relates to, for example, the right to health, the right to water and the right to access to a clean environment. Moreover, the scope of its parameters has also been developed and broadened to incorporate collective and group rights, without necessarily exclusively addressing rights applicable to individuals only. However, the ways and means of implementing such human rights, especially the “right to food” and the right to have “adequate food,” will vary from country to country. Each state that has committed itself to realizing the “right to food” must take immediate steps to recognize the right for all as soon as possible to promote better performance in ensuring food security. The human rights norm mentioned in this chapter closely aligns with health security, economic security, cultural security and many other forms of security that eventually lead to furthering the promotion of overarching human security in connection to food security and in the context of Barents region.


  1. AHDR (2015) In: Larsen JN, Fondahl G (eds) Arctic human development report: regional processes and global linkages. Nordic Council of Ministers, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  2. Brown G (2016) The universal declaration of human rights in the 21st century: a living document in a changing world. Open Book Publishers. ISBN 978-1-783-74218-9Google Scholar
  3. Brubaker M, Bell J, Rolin A (2009) Climate change effects on traditional Inupiat food cellars. Centre for Climate and Health, CCH Bulletin no 1, October 19, 2009. Accessed 27 May 2017
  4. Bultrini D (2009) Guide on Legislating for the Right to Food. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2009Google Scholar
  5. Commission on Human Security (2003) “Human Security Now.” New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. CWFS (2012) Committee on world food security, “Coming to terms with terminology: food security, nutrition security, food security and nutrition, food and nutrition security.” Thirty-ninth session, Rome, Italy, October 15–20, 2012, CFS 2012/39/4Google Scholar
  7. FAO (2005) Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the Right to Adequate food in the context of National Food Security. FAO, RomeGoogle Scholar
  8. FAO (2016) Food and agriculture organization and United Nations human security unit, “human security & food security: hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition.” March 2016Google Scholar
  9. General Comment 12 (1999) General comment No. 12. Committee on economic, social and cultural rights, twentieth session, 12th May 1999, United Nations Economic and Social Council, E/C.12/1999/5, (Art. 11)Google Scholar
  10. General Comment 21 (2009) General comment No. 21, Committee on economic, social and cultural rights, forty-third session, 2–20 November 2009, United Nations Economic and Social Council, E/C.12/GC/21, at para. 13Google Scholar
  11. Graham T (2015) Encouraging sustainable food choices: the Role of information and values in the reduction of meat consumptionGoogle Scholar
  12. Haugen HM (2012) International obligations and the right to food: clarifying the potentials and limitations in applying a human rights approach when facing biofuels expansion. J Hum Rights 11(3):405–429CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Heininen L, Nicol HN (2007) A new northern security agenda. In: Brunet-Jailly E (ed) Borderlands: comparing border security in North America and Europe. University of Ottawa Press, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  14. Hossain K (2015a) Invasive species in the Arctic-Barents: concerns, regulation and governance. In: Pincus R, Ali SH (eds) Diplomacy on ice: energy and the environment in the Arctic and Barents. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  15. Hossain K (2015b) Cultural rights as collective rights an international law perspective. In: Jakubowski A (ed) Studies in intercultural human rights, vol 7. Brill Nijhoff, Leiden, pp 113–132Google Scholar
  16. Hossain K (2015c) Invasive species in the Arctic: concerns, regulations, and governance. In: Pincus R, Ali SH (eds) Diplomacy on ice: energy and the environment in the Arctic and Antarctic. Yale University Press, New Haven. Google Scholar
  17. ICC (2012) Food security across the Arctic. Background paper of the steering committee of the circumpolar Inuit health strategy. Inuit Circumpolar Council, Canada. Accessed 26 May 2017Google Scholar
  18. Knuth L (2009) The right to adequate food and indigenous peoples: how can the right to food benefit indigenous peoples? Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
  19. La Rue FW, Elham M (2015) I am very active in the Internet, in order to sensitize people on our theme: freedom of expression, access to public information, right to education, freedom of association, development, pp. 82–83Google Scholar
  20. Liotta PH, Owen T (2006) Why human security? Whitehead J Diplomacy Int Relat VII(1):37–55Google Scholar
  21. Lundqvist J, Grönwall J, Jägerskog A (2015) Water, food security and human dignity – a nutrition perspective. Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, Swedish FAO Committee, Stockholm, 2015Google Scholar
  22. NFSP (2014) The Finnish committee for European Security, “The Arctic and Barents Regions: cooperation, human rights and security challenges.” Nordic forum for security policy, final report, 2014Google Scholar
  23. OHCHR (2013) United nations security council resolution 66/290 (2013). United Nations human rights office of the high commissioner, “What are human rights?” Accessed 7 Nov 2016
  24. OHCHR (2016) Office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, “The right to adequate food.” Fact sheet No. 34. Office of the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, “Toolkit on the right to food.” Accessed 25 April 2016
  25. OPM (2014) Cultural cooperation in the Barents region. Strategy 2014–2018. Opetus- ja kulttuuriministeriö. Publications of the Ministry of Education and Culture, p. 7Google Scholar
  26. Owen T (2004) Challenges and opportunities for defining and measuring human security, Disarmament Forum 3(June 2004):17Google Scholar
  27. Tirado MC, Clarke R, Jaykus LA, McQuatters-Gollop A, Frank JM (2010) Climate change and food safety: a review. Food Res Int 43(7):1745–1765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. UNDP (1994) UNDP Human Development Report of 1994 and the Human Security Unit. United Nations Development Programme, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. UNGA (1966) United Nations General Assembly, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 16 December 1966, United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 993Google Scholar
  30. UNGA (2007) United Nations general assembly, “United Nations declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples.” A/RES/61/295, October, 2, 2007Google Scholar
  31. UNRIC (2016) United Nations regional information centre for Western Europe, “Individual vs. Collective Rights.” Accessed 25 Apr 2016

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kamrul Hossain
    • 1
  • Dele Raheem
    • 1
  • Shaun Cormier
    • 1
  1. 1.NIEMUniversity of Lapland NIEMRovaniemiFinland

Personalised recommendations