FIAN Deutschland
FIAN DeutschlandMit Menschenrechten gegen den Hunger
10.10.2017

UN-Sozialausschuss: Pre-Session zum deutschen Staatenbericht mit Redebeitrag von FIAN


Der UN-Sozialausschuss (Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - CESCR) befasst sich am 11. Oktober erstmals mit dem 6. Staatenbericht der deutschen Bundesregierung. In der sogenannten Pre-Session berät der Ausschuss, welche ergänzenden Fragen an die Regierung gestellt werden sollen. FIAN und mehrere Partnerorganisationenen aus dem Forum Menschenrechte werden an der Sitzung teilnehmen.

FIAN wird vor Ort von der ehemaligen Geschäftsführerin Ute Hausmann vertreten. Anbei ihr Redebeitrag (in englischer Sprache). Der vollständige Staatenbericht sowie die vollständigen Kommentare der Zivilgesellschaft finden sich unter: http://bit.ly/2vPFo2o 

Oral statement by FIAN Germany concerning the 6th state report of Germany

In this statement I will focus on the right to food and an adequate level of living, specifically

  1. food insecurity and the continuous demand for food provided by food banks
  2. the high level of concentration of land and the effects on peasants

Food banks

Currently there are 900 food banks in Germany which are organized in the national association “Tafeln”. The association claims that they provide food to 1,5 million people. This number has been stable over several years now. Among the people provided with food, 25 % are children and youth, 53 % people with migration background and 23 % older people, also receiving pensions.
In response to a parliamentary question in 2015, the government stated that food banks are neither a means of poverty alleviation nor of implementing the guarantee of a dignified minimum existence, which has been recognised as a right by the Federal Constitutional Court in 2010. According to the government, the function of Tafeln is additional to, not replacing the social guarantees. However, the fact that at least 1,5 million people depend on food banks is a strong indicator that the social guarantees are not adequate.

Currently, social security is calculated as providing less than 5 Euros per day for food and drinks, which is by many civil society organisations not considered adequate. In addition, according to the Committee’s General Comment on the right to food, the right to food implies that that everybody must have access to adequate food without having to choose between existing rights. In the case of those who collect food from food banks, their personal budget has often been tightened by rising rents or other needs, which they have to satisfied by cutting their personal budget for food.

In its Concluding Observations on the UK, the Committee recommended that the State party develop a comprehensive national strategy for the protection and promotion of the right to adequate food in order to address food insecurity and to promote healthier diets. In the case of Germany, the focus so far has been to promote a healthier diet which now urgently needs to be expanded to address food insecurity as a human rights issue.

Requests/ Questions:
Please provide information on food insecurity in Germany. The statistical data should be disaggregated by age group and gender.

What concrete measures is the German Government undertaking concerning the fulfilment of the right to food in Germany?

Access and right to land

It is increasingly recognised that land governance in Europe and Germany has a human rights dimension. One problem is the high level of concentration of land in the hands of a few. And despite the fact that an overarching aim of Germany’s land policy is the support for a broad distribution of land ownership, land concentration is further rising. This has a major impact on young, prospective and smaller, less affluent peasants, similar to the one that the Committee expressed its concern about in its Concluding Observations on Belgium.

The process towards an even more inequitable access to land is a combination of several developments:

  • biased public support for larger farms,
  • increased economic pressure due to low farm gate prices
  • and the influx of non-farmer investors into the land market

These developments are the result of policies which discriminate against small peasants. In its Con-cluding Observations on Belgium, the Committee made reference to the UN Land Tenure Guidelines and recommended that the State protect small-scale agriculture and implement plans designed to preserve it. It would be important that the Committee raise a similar debate with the German government.

Question: Which actions have been undertaken by the State Party to decrease the discrimination against young/prospective as well as smaller/poorer peasants with regard to equitable access and the right to land?