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The UK appears on the UN's Radar - Your Views

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OneFootInTheGrave Report 18 Feb 2013 07:33

It used to be the case that most issues about an individuals rights that drew criticism from the United Nations, were related to countries such as, Iran, Syria, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Congo, Burma, Uganda, Egypt, Yemen, and Sudan, sadly there are many more :-(

Now the United Kingdom has appeared on the UN's radar, the UN's Special Investigator on the Right to Food will, in a speech tomorrow, raise his concerns at the explosion in the UK of the number of people forced to rely on food handouts as it could represent a human rights abuse.

What is the Right to Food - The right to food is a human right recognized under international law which protects the right of all human beings to feed themselves in dignity, either by producing their food or by purchasing it.

To produce his or her own food, a person needs land, seeds, water and other resources, and to buy it, one needs money and access to the market. The right to food therefore requires States to provide an enabling environment in which people can use their full potential to produce or procure adequate food for themselves and their families. To purchase food, a person needs an adequate income. The right to food consequently requires all States to ensure that wage policies or social safety nets enable citizens to realise their right to adequate food.

Has the UN's Special Investigator on the Right to Food got a point?


Guinevere Report 18 Feb 2013 07:45

I don't really think so.

No one here is starving or likely to starve.
Perhaps they should concentrate on war-torn, drought-stricken countries.


Berniethatwas Report 18 Feb 2013 08:41

I wonder if the UN will ever have Inspectors for 'Obligations"?
It seems that everyone has a right to everything these days.


OneFootInTheGrave Report 18 Feb 2013 10:07

My personal view is that every one has a right to food and with the increase in food banks in this country it would appear that some people cannot afford to buy sufficient food to ensure their well being.

Our benefit system should ensure that everyone has sufficient funds to meet their basic needs, in saying that I accept that many waste their benefit on non essential items.

However as a result of the changes that have been made to the benefit system and the quangos now being used to implement them. I think this has resulted in many genuine cases slipping through the net and having to make very difficult decisions.

I agree the benefit system needed to be reformed, however it has been reformed by those who have no idea what hardship means, and implemented by quangos carte blanche as they see fit in a draconian way, and this has resulted in many genuine cases being punished for the abuse of the system by, lets say, the not so genuine.

My income is my state pension and a very small, and I mean very small private pension, which takes me just a fraction above the pension credit threshold, but I manage to squeeze by, however I know many who are less fortunate and who face real difficulties.

I would add that if anybody told me 15 years ago that when I reached the age of 70 I would need to wear fleeced lined trousers and two fleece tops to keep warm in my own house - I would have laughed at them.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 18 Feb 2013 10:22

The US has food banks - has the UN got them on their radar as well?

Unfortunate as it is, food banks in the UK can only be accessed by those with a voucher, so on that basis a Social Safety net is in place.

Until more jobs are available for those who are able to work, and the benefit system totally overhauled, I can't see a change coming in the near future.

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 18 Feb 2013 10:33

I think it's part of the 'job description' of the UN to look at all countries, including member states, wherever there is cause for concern, so I 'm not taking it 'personally' that they also are concerned.

I read last week that the small town I used to live near is planning a food bank, it seems inconceivable given the area, but there it is. Fuel prices, travel costs, rents ( it's now cheaper to buy than to did that happen!) all contribute,

I think there's another factor at work also, it's that when you are old or ill or just 'struggling' there are fewer family members able or willing to help. Maybe because we are all struggling with our own problems, it is being left to charities , food banks etc to pick up the slack that traditionally 'your own' have helped with? especially perhaps in the case of older people?

sorry not very clear post, but I know what I mean :-)


OneFootInTheGrave Report 18 Feb 2013 11:04

RamblingRose I thought your post was quite clear and made some very valid points, especially that about families :-)


BrianW Report 18 Feb 2013 13:11

As a Foodbank volunteer I object to the fact that we provide a service should be used as an excuse to denigrate the UK.
Foodbank help is strictly on a short term basis to cover a crisis, after which the "official" channels take on responsibility.
The UN Special Investigator needs to be briefed on the difference between Foodbanks and Soup Kitchens.