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Type Journal Article - African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Title Roles and capacity of duty bearers in the realization of the human right to adequate food in Uganda
Volume 11
Issue 7
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
Page numbers 5494-5509
URL http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajfand/article/viewFile/74244/64894
The right to adequate food recognised under international law provides a strong foundation for eradicating hunger and malnutrition in all nations. Uganda ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1987 and thereby committed itself to ensure the realization of the right to adequate food recognised under Article 11 of the Covenant. This study analysed the roles and capacity of duty bearers in the realization of the right to adequate food in Uganda. Structured interviews were held with purposefully selected duty bearers from 11 districts in the country between February and July 2007. Districts were selected by criterion based sampling. Relevant policies, budgets, and legislation were also reviewed, particularly with state obligations on human rights, and capacity of duty bearers in mind. Although this right is expressly recognised in the Food and Nutrition Policy of 2003 in which a multi-sectoral approach is proposed, sector-specific roles are not explicitly defined in Uganda’s institutional and policy framework. Most duty bearer (63%) considered the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) as being responsible for the delays in implementing the relevant actions for the right to food. The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) reported receiving inadequate budget resources to support the right to food. Only 20% of duty bearers had knowledge of the General Comment 12, which is an important United Nations instrument that defines and elaborates on the human right to adequate food. Duty bearer’s knowledge of the right to food in the national Constitution had a significant (X 2 = 0.003; P<0.05) positive correlation (R=0.283) with membership status to an ad hoc Uganda Food and Nutrition Council (UFNC). A proposed Food and Nutrition Bill had taken over 10 years without being presented to the National Parliament for the process of enactment into law. As such, most of the support for this right came from development partners. Whereas the ministry of health and MAAIF are line ministries in the implementation of food and nutrition policy, the right to food roles of the various duty bearers in Uganda need to be well defined. Capacity development is also needed, particularly related to integrating right to food sector-specific roles into the theoretical development and practical implementation of food and nutrition security programmes at all levels in the country

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