From the Holodomor to the Present: State Food Crimes and Possible Remedies

Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, an emeritus professor of Wilfrid Laurier University, spoke about governments that introduced policies causing malnutrition or the starvation of those for whom they were responsible. She referred to the work of legal scholar David Marcus, who coined the term “faminogenic” to describe state policies that cause or facilitate famines. She asserted that the Holodomor may indeed meet the criteria for genocide and is certainly an example of a state that adopted policies causing mass deaths. She addressed contemporary international law and discussed how policies such as sanctions and foreign aid might be used to stop the state-induced famine. She concluded that only domestic civil and political rights (not only freedom of speech and press and the right to vote but also citizenship rights, mobility rights, the right to own property and the right to work, all well illustrated by the Ukrainian case) assure real protection against state-induced famine and malnutrition.