Reports Right to Food

Briefing paper: Free school meals and immigration policy

In this joint briefing with Project 17, we look at how immigration policy affects children's access to free school meals. 


In this briefing with Project 17 we look at school meal access for children whose families have the immigration condition No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF). 

School meals are an important source of nutrition for many children. Since the introduction of nutritional standards, school meals are now guaranteed to have at least two of a child’s five daily portions of fruit and vegetables, along with other essential vitamins and minerals.

A person with no recourse to public funds cannot access most welfare benefits or social housing but they can access publicly funded services that are not listed as ‘public funds’ for immigration purposes. This means that children whose families have NRPF cannot automatically access free school meals after the universal free school entitlement. 

Over the last few decades the UK Government has signed up to a number of international human rights standards that uphold the right to food, including a number of treaties that recognise the specific protections afforded to children due to their vulnerability, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

We believe that in order to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, our Government should ensure that all children, regardless of immigration status or any other characteristic, are able to access food in a dignified way and this should include universal entitlement to healthy free school meals.

Briefing paper: Free school meals and immigration policy
8pp - 2020 | 264Kb


Published Thursday 30 January 2020

Right to Food: Everyone has the right to enjoy safe, nutritious and sustainable food. This project advocates the realisation of the Right to Food in UK law.

8pp - 2020


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