I am planning to do a field research on the negotiations of human rights in the context of agricultural modernisation in Merauke, Papua, next year. In preparation for this visit, I have written a paper that addresses the complexity, or cornucopia, of laws in Indonesia regarding food, food security, and general food law. I added a small case study on hunger in Yahukimo to illustrate my argument.
The right of everyone to be free from hunger is recognised as fundamental in the international human rights laws. This means that states have the obligation to take immediate measures against this adversity. However, optimism towards state compliance in this regard is challenged by the intricacies in state laws, regulations and practices that buttress the measures to eradicate hunger. This chapter depicts the complexity of addressing hunger as a violation of the right to food in Indonesia. Based from a comparative analysis of the Indonesian human rights law, general food law and disaster management law as well as an examination of state measures against the hunger in Yahukimo, Papua, the chapter highlights that one can expect little when normative points of the right to food are being used as the standards of enforcement. In reality, people’s actual command to food commodity is being governed according to the prevailing struggles and relationships of people, context and power.
This article will be published in the book ‘Governing Food Security: Law, Politics and the Right to Food’, which I co-edited with my colleague, Dr. O. Hospes.