On the occasion of Human Rights Day, FIAN International releases its annual publication, ‘Right to Food Journal’. The publication puts under the spotlight the increasing influence of transnational corporations over policy-making, as well as its detrimental impact on the realization of the human right to food and nutrition.
Termed as “corporate capture”, the influence of transnational corporations (TNCs) and other business enterprises on public policy decision and implementation has been a major hotspot for civil society over the last few years. Like the proverbial snowball effect, the leverage of businesses has exponentially expanded in the blink of an eye, subtly and effectively. As echoed by the Right to Food Journal, until just recently, its impact has been practically imperceptible to the wider public, and big business has made it to infiltrate the international, regional, national and local political arenas, including the United Nations. This combination has led to a world where human rights abuses and crimes prompted by corporate activities are increasingly worrisome.
Commenting on current trends, FIAN International’s Human Rights Director Rolf Künnemann says: “Human Rights Day gives us an opportunity to recall where obstacles to the realization of the right to food and nutrition lie. TNCs commit crimes with impunity, and by letting them have their way, States are violating human rights. Unfortunately, some States even collude with the ongoing corporate capture of international policy spaces.” Künnemann highlights that States do not sue TNCs in international cooperation, as there is no corporate criminal law and no cooperation between States to hold TNCs accountable. “This is why we need to keep up the fight against this trend by giving visibility to the views and experiences of civil society groups and social movements, in addition to monitoring the discussions within the UN Intergovernmental Working Group towards a treaty on TNCs and human rights” he adds.
From the political and legal perspectives, the Journal illustrates some of impact of corporate activities -like the upcoming setup of the so-called Charter Cities, and features current debates to stop the corporate snowball rolling -comprising discussions within the so-called Global Convergence of Land and Water Struggles. The publication also touches upon key developments throughout 2015, including the human rights status of Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquakes and its second Universal Periodic Review.
Read the Right to Food Journal 2015
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