The right to food
Your rights under the UNCRC
UNCRC, Article 27: It’s your right to have nutritious food, clothing, a safe place to live and to have your basic needs met. You should not be disadvantaged so that you can’t do many of the things other kids can do
UNCRC, Article 24: It’s your right to have the best health care possible, safe water to drink, nutritious food, a clean and safe environment, and information to help you stay well.
Your rights under Irish law
There is no right to food in Irish law.
Did you know?
- The right to food is about having a nutritious diet and making sure that food is available, accessible and affordable to everyone.
- In Ireland, parents receive child benefit for every child they have, by law. This allows parents to support their child(ren) and to make sure their basic needs, including food, are met. Parents receive €140 a month per child, if their children are under the age of 18, still in full-time education and live in Ireland.
- According to the PISA survey 2015, 76% of 15 year old children report that their parents eat a main meal with them around a table several times a week.
- In 2015, 11.5% of children and young people aged 0-17 years old (approximately 132,000 children and young people) lived in consistent poverty. Among other things, living in consistent poverty can mean people going without a substantial meal in 24 hours, being cold because they can’t afford to heat their home, and not having two strong pairs of shoes or a warm jacket to keep out the cold.
- The FAO right to food guidelines have a checklist that helps countries make the right to nutritious food a reality for their people.
- Barnardos ‘Rise Up for Children Report’ (2015) highlights that one child in six in Ireland is living in a household experiencing food poverty. It also says that households with children are 56% more likely to experience food poverty than households without children.
- A Schools Meals Programme was launched in 2015 which allowed students in DEIS schools to get nutritious food at low prices. Breakfast costs 60 cent and a lunch costs 1.40euro. In March 2017, 245 extra schools were included in the programme, helping 47,000 extra children to buy affordable food at school.
- One million tonnes of food waste is disposed of each year in Ireland. Sometimes shops and companies need to throw out food that they can’t sell. An organisation called Food Cloud tries to fight this by saving this type of food and giving it to those in need. In December 2016, 44,970 meals were taken from shops and given to charities all around the country.
- Goal 2 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to end hunger, achieve food security and better nutrition, and to promote sustainable agriculture.
Hear your right – read by Caoimhe Ní Scolaí
Tá sé de cheart agat na nithe seo a fháil: an cúram sláinte is fearr agus is féidir, uisce óil sábháilte, bia cothaitheach, timpeallacht ghlan agus shábháilte, agus eolas chun cuidiú leat fanacht slán.
Éist le do chearta – léite ag Luke Ó Murchú
What children and young people are saying
- We live in a world where there’s so much food or you can go to a supermarket and buy whatever and then you see other countries where there’s people starving. It’s just so unnecessary where they have no clean water whereas we have loads of clean water, like, there’s never a question whether we have clean water or not. – Carla (17)
If i didn’t have the right to clean food and water, i wouldn’t be talking to you right now because i’d be just too hungry to talk or too thirsty – Timi (12)
If you had no water or vegetables, only sweets and coke, you could get really really sick, that’s why you need really good food to make your strong, that’s why my mom always puts sometimes carrots and sandwiches in my lunch so i can be healthy, that’s why we need this stuff to be safe – Wendy (7)
Food gives us energy and helps us to grow big and strong … We are annoyed that children in the world go hungry.
Find out more
- European Food Information Council – Get some tips on staying healthy from the European Food Information Council
- Safefood – Take a look at the food pyramid and find out more about healthy eating from Safe Food.
- Healthy Food for All – Find out about what food poverty is from Healthy Food for All
- Foodcloud – How much food is wasted globally every year? Find out more about food waste from Food Cloud
- FAO - Food and Agriculture Organisation for the United Nations explaining the right to food
Explore More – Resource materials for Teachers & Educators
- Safefood – Resource materials on healthy heating and food safety for primary and post-primary schools.
- World’s Largest Lesson – A range of resources to support children and young people of different ages to learn about and take action relating to the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which include goals to eliminate poverty (Goal 1) and to address hunger, food security and nutrition (Goal 2).
- Concern Worldwide – ‘Food Right Now’. A hunger and food rights awareness initiative for young people, which includes a film and educational activities (2015).
- Trócaire – ‘Exploring a Dilemma through Drama’. An activity for 10 to 12 year olds to illustrate the impact of climate change and corresponding food shortages on people. In Climate Change 2 Climate Justice (2016), pp.6-7.