Urgent Call for Human Rights Guidance on Diets and Food Systems

180 leaders in global health and development – including IOGT International President Kristina Sperkova – joined together to make an urgent call for human rights guidance on diets and food systems on Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization, and Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Published in the BMJ, the call requests the initiation of a process to develop guidance on human rights and healthy diets and outlines why a human rights approach to healthy diets is sorely needed to advance action on NCDs and health.

The call welcomes exploration of international agreements on global health – including to promote healthy diets and regulate harmful products, including alcohol. However it notes that opportunities already exist to transform food systems and create healthier food environments by clarifying existing international obligations to progressively realize the right to food and the right to health.

IOGT International strongly endorses the call.

Drawing on the global AIDS response the call notes how a human rights approach to global health is essential. It specifically calls on High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Ghebreyesus to initiate an inclusive process to develop guidelines on human rights, healthy diets and sustainable food systems.

Noting that this could include convening a committee of human rights, public health, food systems and nutrition experts, States, UN entities such as UNDP and FAO, and civil society organizations, similar to the committee which developed the HIV Guidelines now championed by UNAIDS and OHCHR.

A set of guiding documents have also been proposed to support the call.

Join the call here.