Holding food companies responsible for unhealthy food marketing to children: can international human rights instruments provide a new approach?

Elizabeth Handsley, Belinda Reeve

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Public health advocates argue that unhealthy food marketing to children infringes children’s rights, given its link to obesity, and that states have an obligation under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (‘UNCRC’) to protect children from such marketing. This article explains how international human rights concepts could be used to impose obligations directly on companies to modify their practices to protect children from unhealthy food marketing. We draw on the global governance framework that creates human rights obligations for businesses, and evaluate voluntary codes and initiatives on responsible marketing to children in Australia, to see whether they satisfy the obligations imposed under this framework and the UNCRC. Finding significant limitations in these measures, we set out recommendations for how the food industry could take an approach to food marketing that places children’s best interests as a primary consideration.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)449-489
    Number of pages41
    JournalUniversity of New South Wales Law Journal
    Volume41
    Issue number2
    Early online date2018
    Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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