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Karen A. Spiller, Food Solutions New England, Testifies about the Right to Food at the UN

(l to r): Denisse Cordova Montes & Photini Kamvisseli Suarez (Human Rights Clinic at the University of Miami); Karen A. Spiller (Food Solutions New England); Siya Hedge (National Homelessness Law Center); David Peery (MCARE - Miami Coalition to Advance Racial Equity)

Geneva, Switzerland. On October 16, 2023 Karen A. Spiller was at the United Nations Geneva Headquarters where she provided testimony to the Human Rights Committee reviewing the U.S. on compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) – one of only three international treaties the US has ratified that commits nations to respect the civil and political rights of individuals.

As a delegate of the ICCPR Food Rights Working Group and accompanied by the Human Rights Clinic of the University of Miami Law School, Karen A. Spiller gave testimony about how the food system in the U.S. poses a risk to life and violates the civil and political rights of the working poor, especially Black, brown and Indigenous Communities.

In her statement, Karen urged the Committee to recommend to the United States that it:

  • Strengthen local and regional food systems as a pathway to restore food autonomy to communities, and to reduce the environmental harms caused by large-scale farming.

  • Hold large-scale agricultural companies and extractive industries liable for their impacts on life-sustaining resources such as clean water and food.

  • Examine current lending practices to integrate sustainability and racial equity considerations for small food producers.

  • Raise the federal minimum wage to a true living wage, recognizing that poverty is the root cause of hunger.

  • Make reparations to communities whose labor has been systematically exploited and have been dispossessed of their land since the founding of the United States.

Read Karen’s full statement here.

Stay tuned to this blog as we report on the Human Rights Committee’s findings and report to the U.S. in the coming weeks!


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