Right to Food and Housing

The right to life is at the basis of any Human Rights, and its protection and guarantee must be at the top of the priorities of the responsible authorities and governments. It is the right of every woman, man, youth and child to gain and sustain a safe and secure home and community in which to live in peace and dignity. As ZWA, we are guided by Chapter 28 of the Zimbabwe’s Constitution of 2013, which claims that “the State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within the limits of the resources available to them, to enable every person to have access to adequate shelter”. In our effort to contribute to the Raising Peace Campaign, we managed to visit some of our local children homes to clean their places and to make sure they have better living conditions, as well as planting their vegetable gardens.

This is our contribution to encourage the entire community to work together to address hunger. We also inform on the local campaigns, sharing best practice and our overall progress toward increasing the number of children and families that access federal nutrition programs. Zimbabwe’s Constitution includes also a chapter on food security which states that the State must encourage people to grow and store adequate food, secure the establishment of adequate food reserves; and encourage and promote adequate and proper nutrition through mass education and other appropriate means. Therefore, making aware of their rights is empowering them. As ZWA we try to ensure that people are aware of these rights by interacting with school children and the elderly using the language that they understand and give room to ask questions.

In Zimbabwe’s Constitution, the “right to sufficient food” is mentioned. This means that no one must go hungry for any particular reason. The right to food is a human right. It protects the right of all human beings to live in dignity, free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. The right to food is not about charity, but about ensuring that all people have the capacity to feed themselves in dignity. All human beings have the right to food that is available in sufficient quantity, nutritionally and culturally adequate and physically and economically accessible.

Similarly, the right to housing is so much more than having simply four walls and a roof over your head. Along with many other economic and social rights, it is protected in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, specifically by Article 11, which contains details about the right to an adequate standard of living, and by Article 25(1) of the non-legally binding Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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