Christophe Golay

Dr. Christophe Golay is the Coordinator of the Project on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

His main research areas are related to the right to food, access to justice for victims of human rights violations and the work of the UN Special Procedures on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). He carries out research for the Swiss Government on ESCR and trains professionals in ESCR at the Geneva Academy.

Christophe Golay holds a PhD in International Relations (specialisation in International Law) and a double Master in International Law and International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. From 2001 to 2008 he was legal adviser to Jean Ziegler, the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. He has served on United Nations missions in many countries including Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cuba, Niger, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Dr. Golay is a lecturer at the Geneva Center for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, mainly focusing on human rights and food security. He is also a lecturer at the University of Fribourg and member of the Council of its Interdisciplinary Institute for Ethics and Human Rights.

Dr. Christophe Golay’s publications:

  • Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law. Contemporary Issues and Challenges. Edited by Eibe Riedel, Gilles Giacca, and Christophe Golay, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, 560 p.
  • Human Rights Responses to Land Grabbing: a right to food perspective“. Co-authored by Christophe Golay and Irene Biglino, 34 Third World Quarterly, 2013, pp. 1630-165.
  • Economic, Social and Cultural Rights“, Co-authored by Christophe Golay, Irene Biglino and Ivona Truscan, 2 European Journal of Human Rights, 2013, pp. 269-296.
  • “The Contribution of UN Special Procedures to the Human Rights and Development Dialogue”. Co-authored by Christophe Golay, Irene Biglino and Ivona Truscan, 17 SUR International Journal on Human Rights, 2012, pp. 15-37. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese here.
  • The Fight for the Right to Food: Lessons Learned. Co-authored by Jean Ziegler, Christophe Golay, Claire Mahon and Sally-Anne Way, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011, 440 p.
  • Droit à l’alimentation et accès à la justice. By Christophe Golay, Bruxelles, Bruylant, 2011, 356 p.
  • “The Impact of the UN Special Procedures on the Development and Implementation of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”. Co-authored by Christophe Golay, Claire Mahon and Ioana Cismas, 15 The International Journal of Human Rights, 2011, pp. 299-318. Available here.
  • “The Food Crisis and Food Security: Towards a New World Food Order?”. By Christophe Golay, 1 International Development Policy Series, 2010, pp. 215-232.  Available in English.
  • “The Right to Food and the Right to Life” in D. Fraser and G. Almeida Rodrigues (eds), Disrespect Today, Conflict Tomorrow. The Politics of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Nottingham, Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, 2009, pp. 151-158
  • “Le droit à l’alimentation”, Annuaire suisse de politique de développement, Vol. 27, No. 1, Genève, IHEID, 2008, pp. 152-156
  • “Estar a cubierto del hambre, de la subalimentación y de la desnutrición es un derecho”, in A. Guerra and J. F. Tezanos (eds), Las políticas de la tierra, Madrid, Editorial Sistema, 2006, pp. 281-299
  • “The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights before domestic courts”, in M. Borghi and L. Postiglione Blommestein (eds), The Right to Adequate Food and Access to Justice, Bruylant, Schulthess, 2006, pp. 117-149
  • “Le droit à l’alimentation: une exigence face à la loi du plus fort”, with Jean Ziegler and Sally-Anne Way, in J. Duchatel and F. Rochat (eds), ONU. Droits pour tous ou loi du plus fort ?, Geneva, CETIM, 2005, pp. 332-348
  • “The right to food and clean water”, co-authored with Jean Ziegler and Sally-Anne Way, in R.K.M Smith and C. van den Anker (eds), The Essentials of Human Rights, London, Hodder Arnold Press, 2005, pp. 135-147
  • “Le droit à l’alimentation”, co-authored with Jean Ziegler and Sally-Anne Way, L’Observateur des Nations Unies, No. 17 – Automne-Hiver 2004, pp. 3-19.
  • “Le droit à l’alimentation”, with Sally-Anne Way, in Action contre la faim, Géopolitique de la faim. Faim et responsabilités, Paris, PUF, 2004, pp. 227-243
  • “Etre à l’abri de la faim et de la malnutrition est un droit”, in Y. Reinharz Hazan and P. Chastonay (eds), Santé et droits de l’homme. Les malades de l’indifférence, Geneva, Editions Médecine and Hygiène, 2004, pp. 157-171
  • Jean Ziegler, en collaboration avec Sally-Anne Way et Christophe Golay, Le droit à l’alimentation, Paris, Editions Mille et une nuits, Fayard, 2003, 228p.

Other publications can be accessed online, many of which are available in English, French and Spanish: 


  • Switzerland and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Edited by Christophe Golay, 2013. Available in French and German.
  • The Right to Food and Global Strategic Frameworks: The Global Strategic Framework for Food Security and Nutrition (GSF) and the UN Comprehensive Framework of Action, with Michaela Büschi, Rome, FAO, 2012, 39 p. Available here.
  • “Claiming the Right to Food and Nutrition!” in Bread for the World, FIAN International, Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation, Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2011. Claiming Human Rights. The Accountability Challenge, Germany, 2011, pp. 13-17. Available here.
  • Legal Opinion on the Right to Property from a Human Rights’ Perspective, with Ioana Cismas, Montreal, Rights & Democracy, ADH-Geneva, 2010, 32 p. Available here.
  • The right of peoples to self-determination and to permanent sovereignty over their natural resources seen from a human rights’ perspective, with Melik Özden, Geneva, CETIM, 2010, 64 p. Available here.
  • The Right of Peasants, Critical Report No. 5, Geneva, CETIM, 2009, 22 p. Available here.
  • The Right to Food and Access to Justice: Examples at the national, regional and international levels, Rome, FAO, 2009, 65 p. Available here.
  • The Right to Water, Critical Report No. 6, Geneva, CETIM, 2009, 17 p. Available here.
  • “Towards a Convention on the Rights of Peasants” in A. Paasch and S. Murphy (eds), The Global Food Challenge. Towards a Human Rights Approach to Trade and Investment Policies, 2009, pp. 102-111 Available here.
  • The Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food, Critical Report No. 3, Geneva, CETIM, 2008, 14 p. Available here.
  • Human Rights and Desertification: Exploring the Complementarity of International Human Rights Law and the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification, with Jean Ziegler, Grégoire de Kalbermatten, Liliane Ortega, Claire Mahon, Sally-Anne Way and Michaela Büschi, Bonn, UNDDC, 2008, 34 p. Available here.
  • The Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Critical Report No. 2, Geneva, CETIM, 2008, 14 p. Available here.
  • The Right to Housing, with Melik Özden, Geneva, CETIM, 2007, 60 p. Available here.
  • The Right to Food, Geneva, CETIM, 2005, 54 p. Available here.

Dr. Christophe Golay can be contacted at:

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