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Economic Justice

Just Fair Consortium claims the UK has violated the human right to food

Welfare reforms, benefit delays and the cost of living crisis have pushed an unprecedented number of people into a state of hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in the UK according to a Just Fair Consortium report ‘Going Hungry? The Human Right to Food in the UK’  published today.

 

According to the report, in recent years the UK, one of the world’s richest countries, has witnessed a massive increase in the number of people seeking emergency food aid from food banks and being admitted to hospital for illnesses related to malnutrition. The Trussell Trust, one of the members of the Consortium, has confirmed today that 913,138 people received a minimum of three days emergency food its foodbanks in 2013-14, compared to 346,992 in 2012-13 and up from 26,000 in 2008-09.

 

The Consortium calls on the Government to draw up a national right to food strategy and action plan, including an assessment of the state of enjoyment of this right and says that any further deterioration in income levels which undermine people’s ability to access food, shelter and basic services must be avoided.  It urges the Government to close the gap between income and food costs as well as reduce benefit delays, review how benefit sanctions and welfare reforms are being implemented and reduce unnecessary hardship, hunger and distress.

The Just Fair Consortium represents more than 70 national charities and community groups, including the Trussell Trust, Oxfam, Child Poverty Action Group, Disabled People against Cuts, Refugee Council, British Institute of Human Rights, Unicef UK, Trade Union Congress, Save the Children and Black Activists Rising against Cuts.