LAW-55306 Food, Nutrition and Human Rights


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)N Bernaz-Potter
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. O Hospes
N Bernaz-Potter
Examiner(s)N Bernaz-Potter
dr. ir. O Hospes

Language of instruction:



Worldwide 1 billion people are chronically malnourished, including some 37 million people in developed countries. The human right to adequate food was formally recognized in 1966, in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). The point of focus of this course is to discuss human rights from a multidisciplinary perspective and in relation to nutrition issues. In this course, illustrative examples from selected countries and case studies will play a crucial role in acquiring knowledge and understanding and developing abilities for using human rights concepts.
The course aims to:
- contribute to an understanding of the relationship between food, nutrition and human rights among professionals working in the field as well as beta- and gamma students with for instance a Social Sciences, Human Nutrition, or Food Technology background;
- provide participants aspiring to, and professionals, working in food and nutrition security and interested in a human rights-based approach with the knowledge, abilities and motivation, to strengthen, design and implement programmes and interventions using a human rights-based approach;
- contribute to an interdisciplinary dialogue on the right to food and eventually create a new generation of specialists working with the right to food.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- analyse situations of hunger and malnutrition from a human rights perspective;
- connect food-related social issues to the international human rights and international criminal legal framework;
- explain how legal scholars and social scientists approach the right to food;
- design research on human rights issues, particularly on the right to food;
- provide feedback on draft assignments to his/her peers.


- classroom lectures;
- group discussion in tutorials;
- written assignments;
- reading.


The course is assessed through 3 assignments, all written in teams of 2 or 3 students (same team for all 3 assignments).

  • Assignment 1: a 1,500-word take-home exam with questions on topics covered in Part I (20% of final mark).
  • Assignment 2: a 1,500-word research proposal (40% of final mark).
  • Assignment 3: a 1,500-word essay on a topic covered in Part III (40% of final mark).


Course guide. Various articles, reports and cases posted in Brightspace.

Compulsory for: WUFFHBSc Minor Freedom from Hunger2MO