Feb. 5-18, 2011: The Human Right to Food: International Fact-Finding Mission to Bolivia, February 5-14, 2011
MONTREAL - An international fact-finding mission organized by Rights & Democracy in collaboration with La Coordinadora de integración de organizaciones económicas, campesinas, indígenas y originarias de Bolivia (CIOEC) arrives in Bolivia this week. The mission will address the causes of hunger and malnutrition in Bolivia and investigate the circumstances that produce food insecurity.
This is the fourth in a series of fact-finding missions on the human right to food undertaken by Rights & Democracy (Malawi 2006, Nepal 2007 and Haiti 2008). The mission takes place precisely two year after Bolivia adopted a historic new Constitution which formally recognizes the right to food and the State's obligation to guarantee food security for its population. The mission delegation - comprised of Bolivian experts on food security and representatives of international organisations working on economic and social rights, will visit affected communities and conduct interviews with government representatives, UN and donor agencies, social movements and representatives of indigenous peoples.
"The mission is important because it will highlight the ways in which the human rights framework can provide practical assistance to states as they implement strategies to eradicate hunger within their jurisdictions", said Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, in a message sent to the members of the mission delegation. "I am confident that the mission findings will be a useful contribution to our common struggle."
Despite significant improvements in recent years, an estimated 56% of the population of Bolivia lives below the national poverty line, while 33% lives in extreme poverty. Compared with other countries in the Latin American and Caribbean region, Bolivia has one of the highest rates of chronic malnutrition, which affects 27% of children under the age of 5. The highest concentrations of poverty and hunger are found in rural and indigenous communities.
Preliminary findings of the international fact-finding mission will be released during a public seminar in La Paz on February 14, 2011. A mission report will be released in the following months. Since 2006, Rights & Democracy has worked with its partners to promote human rights and the political participation of women and indigenous peoples in Bolivia.
For more information, please contact:
- In Bolivia: Lauren Ravon, LRavon@dd-rd.ca, (591) 671 69002
- In Montreal: France-Isabelle Langlois, FILanglois@dd-rd.ca, (514) 283-6073 ext. 260