A recent study transmitted to the UN Human Rights Council focuses on the role of pesticides within sustainable food systems as a goal derived from the SDGs. The report entitled “Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food Contents” (document A/HRC/34/48) has been written by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, in collaboration with the Special Rapporteur on the implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and waste. In this report, a clearer account is provided of global pesticide use in agriculture and its impact on human rights including the negative consequences that pesticide practices have had on human health, the environment and society.

With the exception of some regions with sufficient regulation and enforcement for the use of pesticides, e.g. the European Union, the protection of farm workers, consumers and especially vulnerable groups is not secured and do not support sustainable food systems. The report recommends: “States should…

  • Establish impartial and independent risk-assessment and registration processes for pesticides, with full disclosure requirements from the producer. Such processes must be based on the precautionary principle, taking into account the hazardous effects of pesticide products on human health and the environment….
  • Regulate corporations to respect human rights and avoid environmental damage during the entire life cycle of pesticides;
  • Impose penalties on companies that fabricate evidence and disseminate misinformation on the health and environmental risks of their products…”


The report is available on the website of the UNHRC in the following languages:

English: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/85/PDF/G1701785.pdf

French: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/88/PDF/G1701788.pdf

Spanish: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/90/PDF/G1701790.pdf

Arabic: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/86/PDF/G1701786.pdf

Chinese: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/87/PDF/G1701787.pdf

Russian: https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G17/017/89/PDF/G1701789.pdf