Knowledge for better food systems

Scottish Human Rights Commission argues for right to food

This report from the Scottish Human Rights Commission (an independent public body) to the Scottish Government argues that people should have a legal right to food, and that public authorities should solve inequalities in access to adequate food.

The report notes that many people in Scotland (including children) are not able to afford or access a healthy, nutritious diet. It also points to the potential impacts on food security of both climate change and the UK’s upcoming departure from the European Union.

According to the report, the right to food is protected by international human rights law, and yet it is not incorporated into Scottish law. The authors argue that the right to food should be integrated into several different legal frameworks (including forthcoming Good Food Nation legislation) and policy areas (including health, the environment, social justice, education and the economy).

The report distinguishes several elements of the right to food:

  • Availability
  • Physical and economic accessibility
  • Adequacy (in terms of satisfying dietary needs, being culturally appropriate, ang being safe)
  • Sustainability.

See media coverage here:

Read the full report, Response to Scottish Government Consultation on Good Food Nation Proposals, here. See also the Foodsource building block What is food security?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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