Adopt a human rights-based rehabilitation plan for ‘Yolanda’ victims
We urge the Philippine Government to place the people’s basic human rights up front and center in its rehabilitation plan for those affected by the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (also known by its international name, ‘Haiyan’). Included in these basic rights is the right to adequate food. Indeed, Super Typhoon Yolanda has interrupted the people’s enjoyment of this basic human right, taking its toll especially on the most vulnerable in our midst.
Any rehabilitation plan must adopt a human rights-based approach, and should ensure the right to adequate food. This is the right of the people to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or through purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food. Such food should correspond to their cultural traditions, and ensure a physical and mental, individual and collective, fulfilling and dignified life that is free of fear.
In this regard, Aurea Miclat-Teves, convenor of the National Food Coalition, suggests that the Philippine Government explore, as possible elements of a rehabilitation plan, the following:
1)sustainable agriculture, which is farming that observes sound ecological principles;
2) resilient cropping, which is farming that anticipates and prepares for adversity, such as extreme weather events, fuel cost spikes, and restricted access to irrigation; and
3) organic farming, which employs crop rotation, green manure, compost,and biological pest control.
These practices are consistent with disaster risk reduction that aims to protect people’s livelihoods from shocks, and to strengthen their capacity to recover from disasters, such as super typhoons. These practices are also in keeping with a human rights-based approach to climate change. As we have stated before, it is essential to align climate policies with the right to adequate food. Climate change-induced super typhoons and other similar events compromise food production and interfere with the right to adequate food.
By way of emphasis, clear and comprehensive polices that promote the right to adequate food are urgently needed. In this regard, we reiterate our call for the immediate adoption by the Philippines of a right to adequate food framework law.
13 December 2013
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