Christophe Golay

Christophe Golay

Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Areas of expertise

International Human Rights Law  /  Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  /  Extraterritoriality  /  Right to Food  /  Food Sustainability  /  Right of Peasants  /  Non-Discrimination  /  UN Human Rights Mechanisms  /  Access to Justice  /  Human Rights and Development

Christophe Golay is Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at the Geneva Academy.

He is also Teaching Coordinator and Senior Lecturer at the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH), as well as an external member of the Council of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Ethics and Human Rights at the University of Fribourg. In 2013 he was Visiting Fellow at the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism.

His expertise and publications relate to economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), the right to food, access to justice for victims of human rights violations, human rights and development, the rights of peasants, the legal framework of humanitarian action, and the work of UN special procedures and treaty bodies.

Dr Golay is supervising the legal dimension of two research projects on the right to food in Bolivia, Cambodia, Ghana and Kenya, jointly funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Since 2009 Dr Golay has been providing legal advice to a number of stakeholders in relation to the development of a UN declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. From 2001 to 2008 he was Legal Adviser to the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and undertook missions with the UN in Brazil, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cuba, Niger, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In that capacity, he participated in the definition of the right to food in international law and published two books, including his PhD dissertation, on the right to food and access to justice.

Dr Golay holds a PhD in International Relations (with a specialization in International Law) and a double Master’s in International Law and International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

Taught Courses and Research Projects

Somalia, Bakool region, Hudur village. Woman selling products at market. Project

Land Commercialization, Gendered Agrarian Transformation and the Right to Food (DEMETER)

This project examines the relationship between the right to food and gender equality in ensuring food security in the context of land commercialization in two case-study countries, Cambodia and Ghana.

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Senegal, Ziguinchor area, Bignona Department, Kataba 1 municipality, Kouram village. A woman works in a vegetable garden as part of an economic security programme. Project

Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa

This six-year project aims to provide evidence-based knowledge for the formulation and promotion of innovative strategies and policy options that improve food sustainability.

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North Kivu province, Goma, Kivu lake. Residents congregate at the shore of the lake to fetch water to take home. LLM - Course

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

This course focuses on the promotion and protection of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR), including the rights to food, health, housing and water.

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Peru, Ayacucho region, community of Putis. Families during the funeral of the Putis victims. Master in transitional justice - Course

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Transformative Contexts

This course provides an introduction to the protection and promotion of ESCR at international, regional and national levels. It explores critically the challenges that may arise when these rights are implemented in post-conflict situations.

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Syria, Aleppo. The build-up of waste is a serious health risk Training

Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals

This training course explores the relationship between economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) and sustainable development goals (SDGs), and provides participants with practical tools to include ESCR and the SDGs in their work.

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Somalia, Beledweyne. A herder stands with his goats at a nearby water point Training

Human Rights and Land Grabbing

This training course provides participants with an in-depth examination of the complex relationship between human rights and land grabbing.

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Cover of the book Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law. Contemporary Issues and Challenges

Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in International Law. Contemporary Issues and Challenges

March 2014

Christophe Golay, Gilles Giacca, Eibe Riedel

Oxford University Press

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Cover of the book Large-Scale Land Acquisitions. Focus on South-East Asia

Large-Scale Land Acquisitions - Focus on South-East Asia

October 2015

Christophe Golay, Christophe Gironde, Peter Messerli

Brill Nijhoff

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Cover of the book The Fight for the Right to Food

The Fight for the Right to Food: Lessons Learned

October 2011

Christophe Golay, Jean Ziegler, Claire Mahon

Palgrave Macmillan

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Cover of 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

The right to food and global strategic frameworks

March 2012

Christophe Golay, Michaela Büschi


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