Right to Food


The legal right to food was first established at the 1996 International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights (ICESR) and adopted by the UN General Assembly. Article 11 of the covenant also declares, “the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food,” and article 2 allots this responsibility to states themselves, specifically their responsibility, “to take steps, to the maximum of its available resources with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the rights recognized.” Though international laws state that the right to adequate and nonhazardous food should be enforced, monitored, and penalties occur if this right is violated, Bangladesh national law stated that any international law is not part of its national law until integrated by a Bangladesh statute. While the right to be free of hunger is part of Bangladesh national law, the right to food is not.

BLAST has carried out work to ensure the right to not just food, but to safe and healthy sources of food. The 2005 BLAST and another vs. Bangladesh and others [Iodized Salt Case] argued that the salt industry in Bangladesh violated the Iodine Deficiency Disease Prevention Act, 1989 and Rules, 1994, as the manufactured salt did not meet the iodine criteria outlined in these laws. The court ordered salt manufacturers to not only abide by these regulations, but to provide bi-annual analysis reports to the Registrar of Supreme Court.

BLAST has also participated in the South Asian Right to Food conference and campaigns in order to raise awareness of the issue. In addition, BLAST has partnered with the Campaign for Right to Food & Social Security (RtF&SS), and published literature on the subject, detailing what Bangladeshi laws do and do not ensure in terms of hunger and food rights.

Public Interest Litigation:


  • BLAST and another vs. Bangladesh and others [Iodized Salt Case]
    Writ Petition No. 1043 of 1999
    25 BLD (2005) 83
    Full Text


Summary Report on the Global Dialogue on Adequate Food and Nutrition

The Right to Food Legal Protection in Bangladesh; in partnership with the Campaign for Right to Food & Social Security (RtF&SS) (2015)

Food Security in Bangladesh: Legal Obligation (2006)


The Implementation of the Human Right to Food in Bangladesh by Rajkiran Barhey (2015)


BLAST, YMCA Development Center, 1/1 Pioneer Road, Kakrail, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
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