Gambling on hunger? The right to adequate food and commodity derivatives trading

Chadwick, A. (2018) Gambling on hunger? The right to adequate food and commodity derivatives trading. Human Rights Law Review, 18(2), pp. 233-265. (doi:10.1093/hrlr/ngy008)

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Abstract

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have claimed that financial speculators, by gambling on food prices via commodity derivative instruments, contributed to the global food crisis from 2007 to 2011. Commodity futures contracts began life as a form of agricultural insurance and were predominantly used to stabilize commodity prices. How did it then come about that these instruments were turned against agricultural production, leading to violations of the human right to adequate food? This article draws on the history of commodity futures trading to explore the claims of NGOs regarding the causal significance of speculation in the recent crisis. It finds that the financialization of futures markets in recent decades has created new channels of influence whereby activity in commodity derivatives markets can impact on underlying food prices. The implications for efforts to realize the human right to adequate food are elaborated in the final section.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chadwick, Dr Anna
Authors: Chadwick, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Human Rights Law Review
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1461-7781
ISSN (Online):1744-1021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Human Rights Law Review 18(2):233-265
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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