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  • FIAN Recommendations for National Food Security Act

  • About FIAN India Delhi office

    FIAN India has established an office in Delhi for effective communication and coordination work with different chapters, and like minded organizations, lobby and advocacy with policy makers and UN Offices in Delhi. This office is also instrumental for expansion of FIAN in other states of India. FIAN India aims to increase the accountability of the State for Full Realization of Human Right to Food, so that every person in India can have access to adequate food.

    Food first Information & Action Network, India, popularly known, as FIAN India is a part of FIAN International. FIAN is an international human rights organization working for progressive realization of the right to adequate food, a human right as described in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. FIAN India is a network of several independent national FIAN chapters and coordination working in different federal states of the country. FIAN India is a grassroots oriented organisation without political or religious affiliations.

    The origin of FIAN India could be traced back to 1991, when different chapters of FIAN India started taking shape. FIAN India has a federal structure and it has branches in five federal states of the country i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Recently FIAN has established an office at Delhi for effective communication and coordination work. FIAN India aims to increase the accountability of the State for Full Realization of Human Right to Food, so that every person in India can have access to adequate food.

    FIAN India intervenes in situations where right to food and livelihoods are violated. In its work, FIAN units in India cooperate closely with victims of violations of right to food - landless and small peasants, rural workers, indigenous people, women, the unemployed and urban poor. FIAN India's activities include measures of documenting violations of right to food in the country and to expose these incidents to the national and international civil society. It also means standing up against unjust and discriminatory practices that prevent people from feeding themselves. FIAN advocates for a form of globalisation that respects human rights to food and feed oneself for all and recognises social and ecological standards.

    The Structure of FIAN India

    FIAN India is a network of various independent FIAN units in different federal states of the country. In the year of 2000 the all units of FIAN in India have decided to develop a national structure of FIAN for effective communication and collaboration. To this end a National Standing Committee (NSC) was developed in 2003, consisting of representatives of all FIAN units in India. NSC has set-up a coordination office in Delhi for further networking. FIAN India is a non-profit organisation and affiliated to FIAN International, a Germany-based Human rights organisation that works for the implementation of economic, social and cultural human rights (ESC rights), in general and the right to adequate food in particular.

    FIAN India is a membership-based organisation largely relying on voluntary work in FIAN groups and sections in the country. FIAN India's key members are its chapters and coordination, which are legal entities in their own right and have their own membership and elected decision-making bodies but work within the FIAN India mandate. FIAN India has 3 chapters: in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The first stage of developing a chapter is the foundation of a co-coordinating group. There are 2 FIAN coordination in India: Karnataka and Andra Pradesh. On the local level, members of FIAN chapters form groups based on voluntary work. These groups work on the local level towards raising public awareness about the right to food. On the national and international levels the members of groups participate in protest letter campaigns and work on specific cases of violations that have been adopted by FIAN India or FIAN International. FIAN India has some 40 active local groups and total membership of FIAN India currently stands at around 3,300.

    The highest decision making body of FIAN India is NSC consisting of the delegates of the all FIAN units of the country. NSC meets bi-annually and defines FIAN's policy framework for India. Currently, the NSC consists of 5 representatives of FIAN units in India. Each FIAN unit has its own secretariat and FIAN India has also an office in Delhi for coordination purposes.

    Take Part

    We need your support to mainstream right to food in India for empowering the victims to fully realize the right to food and feed oneself. Your help is needed.

    • Take Part in Protest letter campaigns of FIAN India
    • Be a member of any chapter of FIAN India and join our global network
    • Help us to work better by donating some resources
    • Build a FIAN group in your area/state
    Join a Protest Movement

    In its struggle for the realization of the right to food; FIAN India uses a variety of methods and tools. The protest and intervention work include protest letter actions and open letters that have thematic issues directly relevant for the right to food.
    • View the latest FIAN protest letters on Indian issues and register your opinion
    Subscribe to the Hotline Distribution List

    Join in the hotline distribution list and receive protest letters a year for you to participate and distribute among your friends.
    Thematic Areas

    Different Chapters and Coordination of FIAN India are active in various fields to defend and promote the human right to feed oneself in the country. The activities and expertise of different FIAN units in India cover a wide range of thematic areas, which are crucial to mainstream right to food in the nation. These activities provide us with information related to status of right to food in the country and incidents of violations of right to food, thereby helping us to develop strategies for interventions, research, policy advocacy and lobby works as well as documentations and publications. Currently, the units of FIAN India are dealing with the following themes:

    Agrarian Reform

    The agrarian economy of India is the major source of livelihood for millions of rural poor in the country. The agrarian structure in India is characterized by unequal distribution of productive resources, including land. The concentration of land rests on a few landholders who are economically powerful compared to the poor and marginal peasants. These productive lands have not been fully utilized and recent studies have shown that the productivity of land decreases when the land goes bottom - up from the hands of the poor to the rich. The implementation of genuine agrarian reform is a precondition to ensure food security for the marginal peasants and landless laborers in India.

    FIAN chapters in India have identified the need to promote policies and programmes for genuine agrarian reform in the country. To this end initiatives have been taken to make different stakeholders of the civil society aware of the importance of agrarian reform measures. Sensitization of state representatives, legislatures and judiciary for formulation of pro-poor agrarian reform policies and for effective implementation of the same are done. At the same time campaigns and media advocacy are important activities of different FIAN chapters in the country to bring the issue of agrarian reform back in agenda, particularly when an alarming tendency of reverse reform in the agrarian sector is being planned by different federal states in India to allow the indiscriminate expansion of TNCs in agribusiness in the country. To FIAN Agrarian Reform is a human rights obligation of the state. It provides people with access to productive resources, allowing them to have adequate access to food in dignity. Agrarian reform is a central element of every strategy to fight back poverty. Therefore Agrarian Reform will remain a central thematic area for FIAN India to facilitate realization of right to food and feed oneself in the country.

    FIAN AT WORK

    Campaigns

    • Campaigns are joint activities of different FIAN Chapters. The chapters motivate all their groups and members to take active part in these activities. Campaigns often address policy questions which influence the right to feed oneself and involve law or practices leading to wide spread violations of the right to feed oneself. Some Campaigns also aim at introducing international or national legal instruments or programmes for better implementation of the right to food. FIAN India launches campaigns on broad issues related to the realization of the right to feed oneself involving the different chapters and co - ordinations.

    Protest            Letters:

    Protest letter campaigns are the heart of FIAN's intervention work. FIAN Chapters in India collect information concerning violations of right to food of any individual or communities, with the help of local support groups of victims. FIAN activists at chapter-level inquire into the details of the case. When the full picture of the violation of the right to food has emerged, information is sent to FIAN International with a request for suitable intervention. FIAN International launches a protest letter campaign and sends out the same to all the chapters and worldwide network of FIAN members, supporting individuals, partner organizations and solidarity networks. Supporters then send out the signed letters to the responsible State Authorities in which they are asked to end the violation for which they bear responsibility. Protest letter campaigns are more than mere notes of solidarity. They end or forestall Human Rights violations. They add momentum to the struggle of common people against powerful interests and have often tipped the scale in favour of a just solution.

    Visit INTERVENTION ARCHIVE to find the protest letter campaigns related to India
    Chapter-Level

    Research Visits and Fact Finding Missions:

    A Fact Finding Mission is a visit of a FIAN Chapter to a situation of conflict about alleged violations of the Human Right to adequate food. International Fact Finding Missions need clearance from the IEC. However, chapters of FIAN India also organize local Fact Finding Visits which could be termed as Research Visits. Objectives of these visits are to empower the struggle of the victims, fighting against violations of right to food. The FFM team investigates and verifies the violations of the right to feed oneself at grassroots. The team confronts the state authorities responsible for those actions and also meets local influential persons/leaders to get a non-partial overview of the situation. The ultimate aim of the visits is to support the affected groups whose Human Right to adequate food is violated or threatened through the presence and the publication of the findings and results of the FFM.

    Advocacy & Lobby

    Through lobby work FIAN India tries to initiate dialogues with decision makers to gain influence on their decisions, which shape the status of right to food of certain individuals or communities in the country. In fact it is way to address government or state authorities responsible for a violation of the right to feed oneself. Direct lobbying is targeted directly at governmental and sometimes at nongovernmental actors involved in a violation of Human Rights concerning the FIAN mandate. Indirect lobbying on the other hand tries to influence authorities, whose responsibility is rather remote, but who could exert an influence on the targets of direct lobbying. The decision maker gets fully aware of the situation through lobbying. The violation of the specific legal instruments or law is referred in case of lobbying. Reasonable and feasible demands towards the implementation of the right to food are placed with respect and politeness. To see the different lobby works of FIAN chapters in India please visit the respective pages.

    Human Rights Training & Education

    Acknowledging the urgency and necessity of generating Human Rights awareness among the vulnerable and their support groups, different chapters of FIAN India organise Human Rights training and Education programmes. The main target group of these programmes is the activists of different social organizations who could disseminate the knowledge further at grassroots. Besides organizing training programmes for social activists, seminars and workshops for Human Rights Training and Education are regularly organized for policy makers and representatives of judiciary for sensitization. Chapters of FIAN India have developed effective training manuals for this purpose also in regional languages. This year FIAN Tamil Nadu and FIAN West Bengal organized two national level Trainers Training workshops in collaboration with FIAN International.FIAN U.P. and FIAN Norway also organized  a state level ToT. The aim of these workshops was to develop the skills of the social activists to deal with cases of violations of right to food in their everyday work.
    Visit home pages of Different FIAN Chapters to find their involvement in Human Rights Training and Education.

     

    FIAN India

    Consultation

    On the recommendation of ICESCR and FIAN’s follow up planning

    Sept.03, 2008, New Delhi

    Background

    As a follow up to the observations made by UN Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESCR) during its 40th session meeting from 28th April to 16th May, 2008, FIAN India organized a national consultation on 3rd September, 2008 at Delhi. The consultation was participated by Flavio Valente, Secretary General-FIAN International, Mr. Sanjay K. Rai, National Coordinator FIAN India, Ms. Sabine Pabst- FIAN international, T. Ravi Kumar-FIAN-Andhra Pradesh, Ms. Suman, FIAN-U.P, Mr. D. Gurusamy, FIAN- Tamil Nadu, Ms. Ujjaini Halim-West Bengal, Dr. Prakash Tyagi, FIAN Rajasthan, Mr. John Bosco, FIAN Karnataka, Mr. Monimoy Sinha from Jharkhand, Mr.Miloon Kothari and Shivani Chaudhary from IHC-HLRN, Adv. Anup Srivastav from HRLN ,Ms. Preeti Darooka from PWESCR and various activists from all over India. The deliberations of the day largely debated on the importance of right to food in India.

    First Session

    Welcome Note

    The first session was chaired by Ms. Suman. She introduced the background of the consultation. While giving the background, she said that it was the result of FIAN’s sustained approach and ground level interventions on bringing together concerned persons from all walks of life. She also mentioned that meeting FIAN held with important person like Ms. Maria Virginia Gomez, Member, UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The consultation was also contextualized with the work FIAN had taken up with the Members of Parliament in India and abroad. The Chair also gave a contextualized approach to the consultation vis-à-vis the coming together of civil society organizations. She also took the opportunity to share with the participants that most of the recommendation by made by FIAN’s Parallel Report 2008 to ICESCR had been accepted.

    At the outset, Mr. Gurusamy extended the welcome note and raised several issues that constituted the core of the consultation meeting. The welcome note talked about the applicability of international law in the Indian context and the need for India to take all such commitments seriously. He also referred to the pro-active directions of the Supreme Court to the Government of India and the consequent failure to give a constitutional validity to rights such as right to food. While concluding the welcome note Mr. Gurusamy re-iterated the need for more follow up actions to get food rights implemented and create necessary redressal mechanisms.

    Parallel report to ICESCR: a presentation by Sanjay K Rai

    The welcome note was followed by a presentation on the idea and theme of the consultation with reference to the National Process of preparation of the parallel report, FIAN. This presentation was given by Sanjay K. Rai, National Coordinator FIAN. Stating the importance of this Parallel report, Mr. Rai, National Coordinator, FIAN-India said that it was one of the initiatives of FIAN to increase the accountability of the state for full realization of right to food. This was stated against the backdrop of existing facts in India. To quote Rai “80% of the hungry people in the country reside in the rural areas and there is a large landless population with almost 65% of Indians living under Below Poverty Line.” This consultation meeting was organized in the light of the Parallel Report submitted by FIAN to ICESSR draws global attention to the issue of such an extreme destitution of people with sufferers being the women and children. The National coordinator of FIAN outlined the features of Parallel Report in the following lines with reference to ICESCR’s article number 11 which implies three basic obligations towards right to food;

    a. The obligation to Respect existing access to adequate food requires signatory States not to take any measures that results in preventing this access.

    b. The obligation to Protect requires measures to be taken by the State to ensure that enterprises or individuals do not deprive individuals of their access to adequate food

    c. The obligation to fulfill means that the States must pro-actively engage in activities intended to strengthen people’s access to and utilization of resources and means to ensure their livelihood, including food security.

    Mr. Rai stated that the report was a strong reminder to the Government of India as it is party to the ICESCR and each member was to respect, protect and fulfill the right to food and feed oneself. He also reiterated that the Right to Food was also enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution as Right to Life.

    Main highlights of the Parallel Report submitted to ICESCR

    Providing clear illustration of the state’s compliance with overall Human Rights obligations.

    Analyzing the Government’s policies towards realization of Right to Food and Feed Oneself.

    Documenting concrete cases of violation of Right to Food and demanding for global attention.

    Increasing general awareness and education about Right to Food

    Developing Network with like-minded civil society organizations, movements, lawyers, state representatives, parliamentarians and other concerned citizens.

    Creating a platform for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to raise their voices and influence policy/implementation decisions of the state for full realization of Right to Food and Feed Oneself.

    A presentation by Sabine Pabst

    Sabine Pabst’s presentation mainly talked on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights and its implication at country level-India. She talked in detail about the Art. 11 of ICESCR (Right of everyone to an adequate standard of living). The presentation question the failure on the part of member Countries of United Nations which have failed to keep the endorsement made in Art. 11. Sabine was of the opinion that Parallel report submitted to UN in the wake of ICESCR’s 4oth Convention came as an important global movement to ask countries to ensure everyone an adequate standard of living. Sabine’s presentation upheld the works of CSOs’ works done in the regard. Sabine also appreciated the ethos of NREGA, RTI etc in India as a strong ground for people’s empowerment. Sabine’s presentation alerted the government and CSOs on the need to work on increasing farmers’ suicide and existing level of poverty in India.

    Miloon Kothari: Responding to the presentations made in the first two slots of the consultations, Mr. Miloon Kothari, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, spoke on the International norms on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights. The Governments/ Countries have its own mechanisms and many means for redressal but it has not been implemented properly, said Kothari. Instead, neo-liberalization economic policies have been largely ignoring main issues such as poverty alleviation take a backseat. He also critiqued the subsequent governments for not taking the issue of solving poverty and apathy to bring out relevant legislation in the country on disaster management and rehabilitation. He lamented on the inability of the vibrant Indian Parliamentarians to voice and produce effective pro-people policies. Though, Miloon also talked about the positive dimensions of Indian civil societies and its presence at the global level. He urged the participants to strengthen the need for associating with international organizations and issues which concerns all of us.

    Anup Srivastava, Human Rights Law Network

    Anup Srivastava, HRLN, emphasized on the need to compare the rate of malnourishment with acclaimed ‘growth in GDP’. Official data reflects that a growth in GDP but food product yield in India appears to have decreased in the recent years. The main focus of Anup’s paper was the existing gap between what has been claimed officially and the ground reality testified poverty and hunger in the country. He was of the opinion that there was malnourishment in the country and there was a strong continuing challenge in fulfilling the Universal targets such as Millennium Development Goals. Though, Anup expressed the positive aspects of NREGA in India as it could employ rural populace which resulted in the growth of people’s purchasing power. The speaker emphasized on the need for setting up monitoring mechanism on the state projects on people’s rights and food related rights.

    Second Session

    The second session was chaired by Dr. Ujjaini Halim. After a tea break the meeting was resumed. The first presentation of this session was presented by Dr. Flavio Valente, Secretary General, FIAN International. Flavio Valente said that protection of Human Rights continues be the strongest tool for securing a secured life with dignity. The question was to see how one can use this tool and understand in correlation with power relations in the society. Flavio also raised questions on the existing abuse of power and which results in the increasing of violence and deprivation in the society. Flavio, therefore, advocated for viewing human rights from a non-charitable approach for its inherent characteristics.

    Continuing his presentation, Flavio also emphasized that deprived sections of the society largely did not have the capacity to claim their rights and it was this point of concern on which the civil society and collective movements were supposed to come together. Therefore, one of the ways to sustain such a need was to ensure a stronger monitoring mechanism. The state and international norms and agencies would require affirming each others commitment and good governance. “This would ensure actual monitoring of the actual situations and involvement of the public”, said Flavio. Flavio’s presentation widely dealt with the following main issues and concerns;

    Making a human rights agenda a global agenda.

    People’s organizations to be more open to grass root issues and deprived sections

    Question the state to ensure human rights and correspond to international legal commitments.

    Monitoring by CSOs with the involvement of concerned communities.

    Independent people’s scrutiny

    Development of questionnaire modules for fact-finding and documentation of issues and suggestions from affected people.

    Find out who is at more risk?

    Define Poverty in consonance with the larger norms of and definition of human rights.

    The issues of Human should have right to food as an anchoring point for people’s empowerment.

    Comments by Ms. Anke Schuermann

    In the third session, Ms. Anke Schuermann, Germa Angro Action, presented her views. At the outset she said, “advocacy is the need of the hour”. Her presentation remained focused around this dictum which she said at the outset. Anke voiced her discomfort with the projection of a highly developed image of India worldwide which has in turn negated the crucial issues confronting the people in the country. She also said this overdriving claim of India had affected India’s possibility of getting more supports from various donor countries.

    Anke also shared her experience in Orissa and said that women and children were in worst destitution suffering from anemia, malnutrition and hunger. She also shared about the work with which she woks. She shared her experience in Jharkhand and the undergoing projects in Jharkhand through which children and people living with hunger had been benefited. The overall objective of the project has been to conduct a hunger mapping exercise, meetings and discussions on nutrition security and deal with prevalence of underweight children and child mortality, said Anke. The presentation of Anke could throw up the importance of food security issues and a need for global intervention on ensuring rights of people from a holistic perspective. The presentation also hinted to the need for linking food insecurity and underdevelopment with the existing economic polices and trends in the world.

    The following presentation was made by Preeti Dwarooka, PWESCR. Preeti’s presentation was more on the strategic issues; on how to engage with the government and its planners and implementers. Her contextualization of this complexity was done in the wake of difficulties the CSOs face while invoking issues and demands. It has been a difficult task on the part of the activists and advocates of civil rights who work on dalits and other disadvantaged groups to make the governments work and implement what they are ought to, said Preeti. It was against this situation of challenge; the need for a “strategic lobbying” was underscored by Preeti.

    Another presentation on the issue of dalit rights was made by Mr. Umakant, NCDHR. Umakant highlighted the issues confronted by dalits and continuing denial of their basic rights. Highlighting the actual situation of dalits in India, he also felt that there was an irony existing as far as International commitments and country situations were concerned. Though, he opined that it was important to uphold the works of UN committee for elimination of discrimination. Talking about a required approach he said “We cannot divide human rights in disconnected forms as all rights are complementary to an overall guaranteeing of peoples’ rights.” Talking about a survey conducted by NCDHR, he further said “We have had prepared 51 questions’ questionnaire in the year 2007 to interview the political leaders in the country. 50 % of the respondents (political leaders) were not in a position to face the existing situation of dalits in the country”. These findings were argued in linkage with the failure on the part of India to make various ‘Economic, Social & Cultural rights’ enforceable in the country. “We, the CSOs, have to work to make the government of India actually implement Economic, Social & Cultural rights of people, mainly the dalits” was the concluding remark made by the speaker.

    Speaking in the same session, Ms. Shivani Chaudhary, HLRN, spoke on the works of Human Rights Law Network, (HRLN). She mentioned about report submitted to the government of India on Housing & Land Rights in India. “HRLN has been able garner extensive interest and support through the dissemination this report, said the speaker.

    Post-Lunch session: Third Session

    Mr. Manimony Sinha, CWSY

    Taking off the post-lunch session, Mr. Manimony Sinha, CWSY, spoke on the activities in the state of Jharkhand. He spoke on the works done by his organization on hunger mapping study in Six District of Jharkhand, survey on the situation of RTF and organization of a rally on water Rights. He also said that CWSY has worked with Parliamentarians at central and state level. He suggested for need to make "Concluding Observation of the Committee on Economic, Social & Cultural Rights" document as public document. He said “we should take help of Public Relation Officer / CSOs / Trade Union on common issues and work out on one strong document as an alternative to government document on the same subject.

    After the first presentation of the post-lunch session, Ms. Suman, FIAN Uttar Pradesh, spoke on the initiative already taken to as Follow –up of concluding observations at the state and national level. As this session discussed state activities and progresses, Suman talked about the campaigns conducted in UP on the Right to Land for Women campaigns in U.P. The campaign involves meetings with members of judiciary, Parliamentarians, media, academicians, political leaders and social workers. A regular meeting with the local people and their needs constitutes the core of the campaign without which the campaigns would not have been possible, said Suman. Talking about FIAN’s U.P. experience, she mentioned about the recent (February 2008) increase in the minimum wage scale, Rs. 100 per day, in the state of U.P. In addition, the recent move by the state government to ensure land rights for women in the state was also mentioned as one of the achievements made by FIAN and the civil rights groups in the state. A giving a wide ranging perspective, Suman also critiqued the Tehri dam construction and displacement. While concluding, she suggested for making NREGA more effective and accountable.

    After Suman’s presentation, Mr. John Bosco, FIAN Karnataka, spoke on activities of FIAN in the state. John call upon the political representatives to be supporting to the right to food issues in the state. He shared with the activities of FIAN and successes generated while forming strong networks with the Parliamentarians, Legislative members, NGOs and lawyers etc.

    He also reported of a meeting held on Human Rights involving the above mentioned stakeholders.

    Speaking on the same session, Ms. Ujjaini Halim, FIAN-West Bengal, also shared the experiences and activities of FIAN in the state. She mentioned about the work of FIAN on agrarian Reforms & Land Rights focusing on the gaps between policy & implementation. She also talked about the works done on policy analysis based on human rights perspectives. FIAN in West Bengal has been working on awareness generation among local people and ranges of stakeholders. Some of the important activities which were mentioned by Ujjaini were; Hunger Mapping, Community Based Resource Mapping and initiating models of local development projects.

    Fourth Session

    An Open session: Concluding presentations and remarks

    The final session witnessed the presentation of various speakers and presentations. The session started with release of a Publication by Tehari Dam Displaced Peoples’ Movement on right to land and water. The document was released by Dr. Flavio Valente. The concluding session largely discussed about the follow up actions and future interventions with necessary suggestions. As the session was open, opinions and suggestions had poured in. Responding to the discussion, Mr. Ashok Kumar Sinha, Patna, suggested that documents and research or even medium of campaigns should be done in local language and the urgency of social intervention should be emphasized. According to Sinha, flood related relief activities should be urgently taken up so that the victims get some immediate support from the non-affected people and government. He suggested for alliance building and pro-active role of the CSOs. In terms of real life issues, he talked about right to food, gender rights, and proper implementation of NREGA and need to bring NREGA to give some relief to rural workforce who is displaced by flood in Bihar.

    Another remark was given by Prashant from Orissa. He felt that there was a need for lobbying with the government and coming together of like minded organizations with the involvement of local community members. Mr. Prashant also advocated for media advocacy and simplified learning and education materials for campaigns. To Prashant, there was a need for linking the social actions with NHRC / SHRC / WOMEN & Minorities Commission.

    During the open session, activists and victims from Suman Nagar village, a new habitat of Tehari Dam displaced people, spoke about their experiences. The victims narrated that they were living with a serious life time crisis due to eviction, livelihood problems and denial of children’s education. One of the participants from Suman Nagar Govind Dev Joshi acknowledged the work of FIAN in the area. He further narrated how the schools in the area were non-functional and basic food scheme such as Mid-Day Meal programmes were not implemented. This case of Suman Nagar village hints to the many more existing non-functional schools which in turn deprives children’s right to food.

    Ms. Neetika Pant, U.P, also raised her concerns and made various suggestions.

    She suggested for regular multi-stakeholder meetings including women and minorities. She said that there was a need to share, generate and bring various stakeholders within the fold of right to food campaign from a human rights perspective. She also mentioned about the importance of Justice Sachar Committee. Supplementing the issues raised by Hasarat, Bhopal, said that focus should be given on artisans whose livelihood are also badly affected in the recent years due to neo-liberal policies and calamities.

    Continuing the discussion, Mr. Dhruv Kumar, Bahraich, asserted that displacement was a major issue and there was a need for strong strategies and follow up action plans. He further said that it was the time for CSOs to support the government and work together to eradicate poverty and displacement.

    The meeting was concluded with the following collective endorsements’

    Right to food as a core condition to peoples’ empowerment

    Human Rights perspective to lead the rights’ campaigns

    Pro-people documentation and campaigns

    Social, Economic and Cultural rights to be ensured by the State

    Alliance building with stakeholders; policy makers, civil rights groups and community

    Creating urgency on the peoples’ empowerment at the global level

    Holding monitoring mechanisms effective all over

    Proposals for follow up steps:

    FIAN International

    establish national rapporteurship in India (support from OHCHR and Special Raporteur , Ziegler and de Schutter)

    FIAN Tamil Nadu

    amendment of HR act

    have translated concluding observations into Tamil

    lobby work with members of legislative assembly (proposal of M. Gomez)/14th Oct. follow up meeting of Gomez programme??

    FIAN UP

    - “Give accounts” Laimpurkeri, planned to be followed up in other areas,

    program with judiciary

    meeting with parliamentary group on human rights

    Teri dam displaced people

    NGO meeting

    Transform concluding observations into popular documents

    Nitika Pant (FIAN UP / Women Muslim Organisation)

    multi stakeholder dialogue to overcome implementation gaps (include administrative bodies and others)

    - community level awareness “folk medium”

    - wider dissemination of Sachar Commission report

    FIAN AP

    Integrate concluding observations into regular work

    Networking meeting on concluding observations

    State level meeting with human rights bodies

    Approach opposition parties to highlight issues

    FIAN WB

    Work on cases, stop violations towards redressal of victims- (Threats for HR defenders / SEZ/ displacement)

    translate concluding observations into people’s language

    Rallyes, public hearing

    FIAN Karnataka (Bangalore Group)

    Monitoring of Food Schemes (ICDS, PDS, MDMS etc.) in terms of
    discrimination in administration and highlighting the cases.
    - Legal research (how the law has responded to this at national level)
    and identifying the loopholes and recommendations for law reform
    - Sensitization of the policy makers around the law and right to food,
    right to food for dalits, minorities and children
    - Malnourishment among minority children - / employment guarantee and
    minorities (Sachar Committee also expressed concern over the rights of
    minorities in this regard).

    Hasrat, FIAN MP

    audience compatible language

    focus on artisans

    Shivani (HRLN)

    - dissemination / translation

    - republish parallel report HRLN

    - booklet on key issues

    - stress on displacement and evictions

    - highlight their guidelines on displacement

    - synthetize recommendations of different treaty bodies

    - mid-term review about implementation of concluding observations

    - work more with NHRC, make them to distribute concluding observations

    Prashant, Orissa Dalit Forum

    - translation of concluding observations into simple language to reach local level

    - link up with struggles of Adivasis in Orissa

    Rachna, PWESCR

    - take issues to NHRC (state and national level) and to women’s commission and minority commission

    Monimoy, CWS

    - publish and distribute concluding observations and parallel report in local languages

    Annexure: 1.

    Significance of the CESCR concluding observations and their implementation at national level – An International experience

    By: Flavio Luiz Schieck Valente

    Secretary General -FIAN International

    1. The periodic reporting to the CESCR is one of the obligations of the States that ratified the ICESCR and the resulting observations include suggestions and recommendations that orient the governments towards the effective fulfilment of their obligations and the realization of the ESCR rights.

    2. According to the committee's General Comment 1 the periodic monitoring process has at least 7 objectives:

    a. to ensure that a comprehensive review is undertaken with respect to national legislation, administrative rules and procedures, and practices in an effort to ensure the fullest possible conformity with the Covenant.

    b. to ensure that the State party monitors the actual situation with respect to each of the rights on a regular basis and is thus aware of the extent to which the various rights are, or are not, being enjoyed by all individuals within its territory or under its jurisdiction. From the Committee's experience to date, it is clear that the fulfilment of this objective cannot be achieved only by the preparation of aggregate national statistics or estimates, but also requires that special attention be given to any worse-off regions or areas and to any specific groups or subgroups which appear to be particularly vulnerable or disadvantaged. Thus, the essential first step towards promoting the realization of economic, social and cultural rights is diagnosis and knowledge of the existing situation.

    c. to provide the basis for the elaboration of clearly stated and carefully targeted policies, including the establishment of priorities which reflect the provisions of the Covenant.

    d. to facilitate public scrutiny of government policies with respect to economic, social and cultural rights and to encourage the involvement of the various economic, social and cultural sectors of society in the formulation, implementation and review of the relevant policies.

    e. to provide a basis on which the State party itself, as well as the Committee, can effectively evaluate the extent to which progress has been made towards the realization of the obligations contained in the Covenant. For this purpose, it may be useful for States to identify specific benchmarks or goals against which their performance in a given area can be assessed.

    f. to enable the State party itself to develop a better understanding of the problems and shortcomings encountered in efforts to realize progressively the full range of economic, social and cultural rights.

    g. to enable the Committee, and the States parties as a whole, to facilitate the exchange of information among States and to develop a better understanding of the common problems faced by States and a fuller appreciation of the type of measures which might be taken to promote effective realization of each of the rights contained in the Covenant.

    3. It is important to highlight that the CESCR has clarified the concept of progressive realization of ESCR, in its General comment 3, reaffirming the binding obligation of Governments to take immediate steps towards this realization, as it can be read in paragraphs 9 and 10 of this GC:

    9……The concept of progressive realization constitutes a recognition of the fact that full realization of all economic, social and cultural rights will generally not be able to be achieved in a short period of time. … Nevertheless, the fact that realization over time, or in other words progressively, is foreseen under the Covenant should not be misinterpreted as depriving the obligation of all meaningful content. It is on the one hand a necessary flexibility device, reflecting the realities of the real world and the difficulties involved for any country in ensuring full realization of economic, social and cultural rights. On the other hand, the phrase must be read in the light of the overall objective, indeed the raison d'être, of the Covenant which is to establish clear obligations for States parties in respect of the full realization of the rights in question. It thus imposes an obligation to move as expeditiously and effectively as possible towards that goal. Moreover, any deliberately retrogressive measures in that regard would require the most careful consideration and would need to be fully justified by reference to the totality of the rights provided for in the Covenant and in the context of the full use of the maximum available resources.

    10. On the basis of the extensive experience gained by the Committee….the Committee is of the view that a minimum core obligation to ensure the satisfaction of, at the very least, minimum essential levels of each of the rights is incumbent upon every State party. Thus, for example, a State party in which any significant number of individuals is deprived of essential foodstuffs, of essential primary health care, of basic shelter and housing, or of the most basic forms of education is, prima facie, failing to discharge its obligations under the Covenant. … By the same token, it must be noted that any assessment as to whether a State has discharged its minimum core obligation must also take account of resource constraints applying within the country concerned. Article 2 (1) obligates each State party to take the necessary steps "to the maximum of its available resources". In order for a State party to be able to attribute its failure to meet at least its minimum core obligations to a lack of available resources it must demonstrate that every effort has been made to use all resources that are at its disposition in an effort to satisfy, as a matter of priority, those minimum obligations.

    4. Within this understanding, the recommendations of the committee are expression of the binding obligations of the State parties to the ICESCR, which is the case of India.

    Role of civil society

    5. The recommendations of the CESCR are a very potent tool to be used in:

    a. Empowering communities and groups who have their rights violated, demonstrating that their demands have the support of the UN Human Rights system;

    b. Informing the society in general and the public sector, including parliamentarians what must be done by the public authorities/State towards the fulfilment of their obligations under the ICESCR;

    c. Providing information to like minded parliamentarians, members of the judiciary and public officers so that they can further their activities and public policy proposals for the realization of the different ESCR, based on the recommendations.

    6. There are some demands that can be placed immediately by civil society on the government:

    a. The government must broadly publicize the recommendations to all sectors of the society, including the most affected by possible violations, as well as parliamentarians, the media, judicial authorities and public officers at all levels;

    b. The government must provide a detailed plan on how it intends to provide a response to each one of the recommendations, including the identification of benchmarks, allocation of funds, and timeline, preferably agreed upon publicly;

    c. The federal government should invite civil society and other sectors of society to actively participate in the elaboration of the follow up report.

    The Brazilian experience

    7. Brazilian civil society has taken a very active role in closely monitoring the Governmental reporting to the CESCR.

    8. In the Brazilian case:

    a. civil society elaborated a report to the CESCR before the Brazilian Government officially reported. The official report was 7 years delayed and it was the pressure placed by the civil society report that led the government to produce the official one, one year after.

    b. The civil society report was produced by a broad coalition of social movements and NGOs and included a series of State level consultations;

    c. Civil society also produced a counter report in response to the official report;

    d. Civil society was also invited to contribute to the official report, and participated in it, requesting that wherever a conflict of position between the government and civil society was not overcome, the position of civil society should be clearly spelled out in a foot note;

    9. Since the first report, the civil society coalition, according to a division of tasks, has continued to:

    a. Publicize the recommendations;

    b. Monitor policy and program implementation;

    c. Document exemplary cases of violation;

    d. Lobby for the fulfilment of the recommendations;

    e. Maintained the committee informed of the most serious impediments;

    10. In parallel, civil society organizations in the coalition, established a commonly agreed timeline in preparation for the next report, guaranteeing that the contribution of civil society was timely provided to the Committee, including:

    a. Questions to be posed to the Government in relation of the official report, in the pre-sessional meetings, together with the parallel repor

    List of Participants

    FIAN India Consultation on

    Sept.03, 2008 New Delhi


    Name/Address

    Name/ Address


    Dr. Kumar Prasant

    Visionaries of creative Action for Liberation & Progress “VICALP”

    At- Dharampur

    P.O- Gopalpur- on- sea ORISSA. N- 09437578487

    Ph- 0680-2242346

    E-mail- vicalp@yahoo.co.in

    JOHN BOSCOY

    FIAN Karnataka

    E-mail-ashrayafian@sify.com

    Dhruv Kumar

    Panchsheel Development Trust

    183 Hanuman Colony, Sufipura

    Bahraich-271801

    UP

    E-mail-panchsheelbrch@yahoo.com

    09919831361/05252-231466

    Anup Kumar Srivastava

    Human Rights Law Network

    576, Masjid Road, Jangpura,

    New Delhi-110014

    Ph-24374501, Fax-24374502

    Mob: 09910749684/ 09868639942

    E-mail- anupsricpr@gmail.com

    Preeti Elhence- Coordinator

    JANHIT FPUNDATION

    180/7 Shastri Nagar, Meerut

    Tel: 09412540200

    E-mail- preeti.elhence@gmail.com

    Ujjaini Halim

    FIAN West Bengal

    Tel: 03324128426

    E-mail- fianwestbengal@vsnl.net

    Mayank Kamal

    Ph: 91-9717497323

    E-mail-mayankkamal@gmail.com

    Govind Dev JOSHI

    Suman nagar, Hridwar,

    Uttrankhand

    Ph: 09411783963

    H.M.Joshi

    Officer,Govt. Of India

    NOIDA

    Ph: 0971701131

    Surbir Singh

    Terhi Dam (Bandh)

    Punarwash Vikash Samittee,

    Suman Nagar

    District: Haridwar Sangharsha

    Uttrakhand

    Ph: 09412984151

    I.M.Joshi

    Terhi Dam(Bandh)

    Punarwash Vikash Samittee,

    Suman Nagar

    District: Hridwar

    Uttrakhand

    Ph: 0135-2121734

    D. Gurusamy

    Secretary,

    FIAN

    TamilNadu

    H.Arjumend,

    FIAN Madhya Pradesh

    c/o Grassroot India Trust

    First Floor, Royal Apartments

    J-68, A.F. Enclave, Okhla, New Delhi-2J

    Tel: 011-26955452, 09868993710

    E-mail: fianmp@gmail.com

    Shefali Srivastava

    Consultant IGNOU,J.F

    7,Nawal Kishore Road

    Hazratganj

    Lucknow

    U.P

    Ph: 09868888114

    09453014222

    E-mail-shefaligauraha@gmail.com

    shefaligauraha@yahoo.co.in

    Manisha Tiwari

    Human Rights Law Network

    576, Masjid road,

    Janqpura, Bhopal

    New Delhi

    Ph: 09717505798

    E-mail-righttofoodsccase@hrlm.org

    tiwarymanisha@yahoo.com

    Prakash Tyagi

    FIAN Rajsthan Group C/oGRAVIS

    3/458,M.M Colony

    Pal Road, Jodhpur

    Ph: 0291-2785116

    E-mailgravis@datainfosis.net

    Ashok Kumar Sinha

    KARMA CONSULTANTS

    LF-3/53,

    Bahadurpur housing colony

    Bhootnath road

    Patna 25

    Ph: 09430963814

    E-mail-ashokmohit@gmail.com

    Avinash K. Singh,Consultant

    The Child Trust

    New Delhi


    T. Ravi Kumar

    FIAN Andhra Pradesh

    Tel: 09866035859

    E-mail-fian_andhrachapter@yahoo.co.in

    FlavioValente-FIAN International

    WILLY BRAND PLOT 5

    d-69115 GERMANY

    + 49 6221 6530030(Off)

    +49 172 1394447( )

    E-mail-valentine@fian.org

    MONIMOY SINHA,

    JRC, CENTRE FOR WORLD SOLIDARITY

    22A, SHIV SINGH BAGAN,

    Road no.-9,AGRICO,

    JAMSHEDPUR-9

    0091-657-2424570,3296087, 09470163888

    E-mail-monimoysinha@cwsy.org,

    jrc@cwsy.org

    Anke Schuermann

    Welthungerhiefe

    1025,2nd floor

    3rd cross, 13thMain, Indiranagar HAL2nd stage

    Bangalore 560038, 09886403256

    E-mail-schuermann@dwhh.org

    Sabine Pabst

    FIAN International

    E-mail-pabst@fian.org

    Ph: 0049 6221 65 30030

    Nitika Pant, Volunteer FIAN U.P. and Secretary

    Social Action For Knowledge Building & Awareness Raising(SAKAR)

    C-107/3,Rajendra Nagar,

    Bareily,U.P.

    Ph: 09412039295

    E-mail-sakar.s@rediffmail.com

    Ritu Tiwari

    Centre For Community Economics And Development Consultant Society(CECOEDECON)

    F-159-160, Sitapura, TarkRoad,

    Jaipur

    E-mail- cecoedecon@indiatimes.com

    cecoedecon@gmail.com

    Website-www.cecoedecon.org

    Ph: 91-141-3294834/35/36

    Miloon Kothari

    South Asian Regional Programme-Housing And Land Right Network(HLRN)

    A-1,Nizamuddin East

    New Delhi

    Ph: 011-24358492

    Elizabeth Martin, EED Partner

    CNI Synoclical Board of Social Services Programme Associate& PARAM

    16, Pandit Pant Marg

    CNI Bhawan

    New Delhi-1

    Ph: 093718168/ 2335172

    Mayank Kamal

    Karma Consultant

    H. NO. C-284

    Minto Road Complex

    New Delhi-02

    Ph: 09717447323

    E-mail- mayank.kamal@gmail.com

    Balbir Singh Tomar

    FIAN,U.P

    Vill. Dubhar Krishnanpur

    Post. Gamgoh( Saharanpur)

    Ph: 09358043631

    09456085965

    Sanjay K.Rai

    National Coordinator

    FIAN India

    Email <fianindia@yahoo.com>

    Sandeep Kumar

    FIAN India Delhi office

    Suman,President FIAN-U.P.

    A-8,Sarvoday Nagar,Indira Nagar

    Lucknow-16 U.P.

    Email: fianup@yahoo.com

    Feroj Ashraf

    Vikas Adhyayan Kendra

    Mumbai,Maharashtra

    Tel 022-28822850

    Consultation on

    Implementation of the Concluding Observation of the CESCR and follow up for Next Report

    Sept.03, 2008, New Delhi

    By: FIAN India

    Programme - Schedule

    S. No.
    Time
    Activity/Presentation
    Responsibility

    1
    10.00 am – 10.10 am
    Welcome and introduction
    D.Gurusamy,FIAN Tamil Nadu

    2
    10.10 am – 10.20 am
    National Process of preparation of the parallel report
    Sanjay K Rai,National Coordinator

    FIAN India

    3
    10.20 am – 10.50 am
    Parallel report at Geneva and CESCR recommendations
    Sabine Pabst,South Asia Desk,FIAN International

    5
    10.50 am – 11.45 am
    Comments
    Miloon Kothari,Former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing
    Anup Srivastava, Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)


    6
    11.45 am – 12.00 am
    Tea Break


    7
    12.00 am-12 .30 pm
    Significance of the CESCR concluding observations and their implementation at the National level – International Experience

    Dr. Flavio Valente,Secretary General

    FIAN International


    12.30-01.00 pm
    Other initiatives
    NCDHR--Umakant
    PWESCR—Preeti Darooka
    HLRN-Shivani Chaudhary

    01.00-02.00 pm
    Lunch


    02.00-02.30 pm
    Panel discussion
    Manimoy Sinha,CWSY


    10
    02.30-3.10 pm


    Initiative already taken to as Follow –up of concluding observations at the state and national level
    Andhra Pradesh – Ravi
    Uttar Pradesh – Suman
    Karnataka – Mr. Bosco
    West Bengal – Ujjiani Halim
    Tamil Nadu – D. Gurusamy


    11
    03.10-03.30 pm
    Tea Break


    12
    03.30—05.00 pm
    Open Discussion

    1. Action plan for follow-up until 2011
    2. What could you contribute at state/national level to implement the concluding observations?

    T.Ravi Kumar

    Moderation by – Dr.Ujjaini Halim and Ms. Suman

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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