Rights-Based Approaches to Food Poverty in Ireland

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Title: Rights-Based Approaches to Food Poverty in Ireland
Authors: O'Connor, Deirdre
Cantillon, Sara
Walsh, Judy
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3851
Date: Dec-2008
Abstract: In Ireland food poverty has emerged as an increasingly important issue on the social policy agenda. The reasons for this include the changing understanding of the nature of food poverty, its causes, dimensions and the development of solutions, as well as a growing awareness that food remains a central dimension of people’s experience of poverty even within industrialised countries. Alongside these developments there is a growing interest in the role of rights-based approaches to poverty alleviation generally and specifically to the issue of food poverty. This paper begins by mapping the main contours of the international human rights system and academic literature in order to ground food poverty within the overarching political and legal framework. In view of the fact that food poverty is central to people’s experience of poverty, it is necessary to review the conceptual literature on poverty generally and to identify the primary state-level mechanisms associated with poverty alleviation. More specifically, this study also identifies the key concepts, actors and interventions that pertain to food poverty in Ireland. This is followed by a summary of the discussion and analysis generated from a one-day workshop which took place in Dublin in March 2008, at which various stakeholders explored the potential of using rights-based approaches to food poverty in Ireland. The paper concludes that rights-based approaches have not featured prominently in interventions to address issues of poverty in general, or food poverty specifically, and activists and practitioners working in the arena of food poverty point to significant challenges in progressing this approach. Institutional resistance to the adoption of a rights-based approach is a significant factor, as is the primacy of private sector interests who are the ‘gatekeepers’ of the contemporary food system. At the same time, insights from the work of human rights organisations who work on food and those who use the approach in other settings suggest that it is a promising avenue to explore. Of particular significance is its potential to address issues of power relations between marginalised groups and policy-makers and to locate local issues and responses within a framework of international human rights law.
Type of material: Technical Report
Publisher: Combat Poverty Agency
Copyright (published version): 2008, Combat Poverty Agency
Keywords: Poverty;Food;Rights
Subject LCSH: Poverty--Ireland
Basic needs--Ireland
Right to food--Ireland
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Research Collection

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