Regulating corporations to ensure the right to food

Written by  Louise Pigeolet

Entraide et Fraternité
14 May 2019

Towards the end of business as usual?
An Analysis by Louise Pigeolet, Volunteer at Entraide et Fraternité
December 2018 (available in EN-FR)

The right to food is a fundamental right that is often jeopardized by the activities of large multinational corporations specializing in agribusiness and the extraction of mineral and forest resources around the world. People who are deprived, as a result of land grabs, of this right and of the income their lands generate are most often left defenceless in the face of these giants. Apart from seeing their right to food confiscated by a foreign multinational, these people may also suffer from the lack of access to remedy enabling them to obtain compensation for the harm they have endured. Several factors help to explain this state of affairs, some of which are rooted in the deficiencies of current international law. The binding treaty that is now being drafted by the United Nations would be a way to overcome some of those deficiencies and give people the means necessary to fight back in this David and Goliath scenario.

Le droit à l’alimentation est un droit fondamental trop souvent mis en péril par les activités d’importantes sociétés spécialisées dans l’agrobusiness, l’exploitation minière ou forestière, à travers le monde. Les personnes privées de ce droit du fait de l’accaparement de leurs terres et des revenus qu’ils en tiraient se retrouvent le plus souvent démunies face à ces géants. En plus de voir leur droit à l’alimentation confisqué par une multinationale étrangère, ces personnes risquent également le plus souvent de souffrir du manque d’accès à une voie de recours leur permettant d’obtenir réparation pour le préjudice subi. Ceci s’explique par différents facteurs, dont certains trouvent racine dans les lacunes du droit international actuel. Le traité contraignant en phase d’élaboration aux Nations Unies serait un moyen de combler certaines de ces lacunes, offrant ainsi à ces « David » les armes nécessaires pour affronter Goliath.


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