On the Right to Adequate Food of Internally Displaced Persons on Account of the Marawi Conflict

On the Right to Adequate Food of Internally Displaced Persons
on Account of the Marawi Conflict
7 June 2017
The National Food Coalition (NFC) spearheaded by FIAN Philippines is deeply concerned about the human rights situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mindanao due to the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi between government forces and fighters from groups affiliated with the Islamic State.
The NFC is urging all parties in the conflict, particularly state forces, to ensure that the right to adequate food of the people, especially those who have fled their homes, are protected at all times.
The 1987 Constitution guarantees the right to life from which all other rights like the right to food are derived. Furthermore, the right to food is expressly guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which the Philippines is a party.
In its General Comment No. 12 on the right to food, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, has explained that it is the duty of the Philippine government to provide assistance to internally displaced persons.[1] 
The UN Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons directs competent authorities to ensure that internally displaced persons, without discrimination, should be given safe access to essential food and water [2], at the minimum, regardless of the circumstances.
In this regard, the NFC, citing human rights and international humanitarian law, called on the Government to provide the public regular comprehensive data on the situation of the IDPs and the extent to which their human rights may have been compromised because of the fighting in Marawi.
The NFC also seeks to ensure protection mechanisms in accordance with international standards for the IDPs’ human rights, including their right to adequate food, to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe.
As a more lasting and institutional support to IDPs and the general population who may be caught in similar circumstances following armed conflicts or natural disasters, the NFC is pushing for the immediate passage of House Bill No. 61 and its counterpart Senate Bill No. 111, the right to adequate food framework bill (also known as the zero hunger bill), and to call on the President to certify it as urgent.
Aurea Miclat-Teves, Convenor, National Food Coalition
Telephone +633517553
Atty. Ricardo Sunga, Legal Counsel, National Food Coalition
Telephone +639178542124

[1] General Comment No. 12, para 38.
[2] Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons, principle 18(2).

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