Food insecurity and poverty - United Nations: Scottish Government response

Scottish Government position statement in response to a joint letter to the UK from the UN Special Rapporteurs responsible for food and poverty. It outlines Scotland’s human rights approach to the challenges of food insecurity and poverty, including actions taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Coordinating action on food policy: Scotland’s Good Food Nation Ambition

75. The Good Food Nation vision is for the people of Scotland to take a keen interest in their food, knowing what constitutes good food, valuing it and seeking it out whenever they can. This starts with young people who we want to see armed with the knowledge and opportunity to understand where their food comes from and to make the right choices throughout their lives. The Scottish Government launched the Good Food Futures programme in June 2019, which aims to provide an overarching coordinated and end-to-end approach to the delivery of food education[34] to young people and encourage careers in the food industry.

76. Scottish Ministers are working to develop a new non-statutory statement of policy on food. This work will be led by the Ministerial Working Group on Food and will be informed by the statutory provisions that were proposed for the Good Food Nation Bill, the drafting of which was well advanced when, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was taken not to introduce it this parliamentary session. This statement will build on recent experience of COVID-19 response, and will consider rights, security, production and availability of food.

77. The Ministerial Working Group on Food was established to provide cross-government leadership to co-ordinate action on food relevant to achieving a Good Food Nation. Members work collectively to drive progress across portfolios by providing strategic direction, tackling complex issues and sharing best practice.

Incorporation of international human rights treaties

78. The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that Scotland demonstrates clear leadership on human rights. That is why the First Minister established an Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, which reported in December 2018.

79. The National Taskforce for Human Rights Leadership[35] is currently taking forward recommendations from the Advisory Group, including proposals for a new statutory framework for human rights in Scotland. As part of this work, the Taskforce has undertaken wide ranging engagement with public bodies, civil society organisations and other interests to determine what will go into the framework. The Taskforce is currently considering the approach it will take to specific rights. In doing so, it will address civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including measures to protect against poverty and to secure the internationally-recognised right to food. It will also examine environmental human rights including, in particular, the right to a healthy environment.

80. The Scottish Government has also committed to incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into domestic law by the end of the current parliamentary session (i.e. by late March 2021).

81. On 1 September 2020, the UNCRC (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill[36] was introduced in the Scottish Parliament and parliamentary scrutiny is now at an advanced stage. Incorporation of the UNCRC is central to making Scotland the best place to grow up. It seeks to ensure that there is a proactive culture of everyday accountability for children's rights across public services in Scotland. This will mean that children, young people and their families will experience public bodies consistently acting to uphold the rights of all children, across the whole of Scottish society. Public authorities, including Scottish Ministers, will be under a statutory duty not to act incompatibly with the UNCRC rights and rights holders will be able to challenge public authorities in the courts in the event that the actions of state institutions result in breaches of their UNCRC rights.



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