COVID-19 Briefing: No Recourse to Public Funds and the Right to Food

New COVID-19 briefing looks at how the No Recourse to Public Funds condition is not compatible with the right to food.


The social, economic, and health ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic have shed a new light on how pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities within society have an impact upon a person's enjoyment of their socio-economic rights including their right to food.

In denying basic social welfare to individuals who are not legally allowed to work or who are unable to secure employment, the ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ policy is forcing entire families – including those with very young children – into a state of destitution where they can no longer access the bare essentials of life including food.

In this briefing we look at:

  • The limited support that people with NRPF can receive, including recent temporary changes to free school meal entilement
  • The main barriers to household food security for households with NRPF
  • What is the right to food
  • Why the NRPF condition interferes with the right to food

According to international human rights law all people regardless of their immigration status should have a dignified and secure access to food. As we shall argue not having access to most forms of welfare support as well as to social housing means that those with NRPF are at a high risk of experiencing household food insecurity and destitution, and this is in contradiction with the UK Government’s international human rights law duties.

This briefing has been written by our right to food project coordinator Imogen Richmond-Bishop, with Dr Sara Bailey. With thanks to Nadia Chalabi from Hackney Migrants Centre.


06/05/2020
Coronavirus Food Alert

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