This book provides a thorough account of states’ obligations to prevent childhood obesity under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, focusing on restricting unhealthy food marketing to children. It argues that while political momentum is sluggish and stilted, children’s rights provide a compelling basis for action. This is important because unhealthy food marketing is a transnational concern that no one state can effectively regulate alone.
Furthermore, the book fills gaps in research on socioeconomic rights by offering an analysis of states’ obligations under the rights to health and nutrition in relation to non-communicable disease prevention in high-income states. It zeroes in on provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), allowing for a detailed analysis of the Convention as a whole. The book avoids a myopic focus, examining state obligations in the context of conflicting and complementary international duties including international health law, the European Convention on Human Rights, European Union law and international trade law.
Children’s Rights and Food Marketing focuses on the CRC as it binds all states parties to a basic framework, which, if fully implemented, provides children in developed and developing countries with entitlements to universal standards. The Convention adds legal and moral accountability to states’ public health duties. Furthermore, children’s rights not only impose obligations to regulate, but also obligations to do so in a manner that fully respects children’s rights, namely by respecting the best interests and views of children.
Besides analysing state obligations, the book presents a blueprint for what a child rights approach to regulating unhealthy food marketing could look like. It focuses on the restriction of unhealthy food marketing in the European Union, spanning consumer protection, media law and data protection law. Current law is evaluated using the WHO recommendations and children’s rights. The extent to which children’s rights principles are reflected in the texts of the rules and the manner in which complaints are handled are considered. To allow for a detailed analysis, complaints from the EU Pledge and Irish bodies are included. Ireland is an interesting case study as regulations are some of the most stringent in the EU. The state is also home to many of the world’s leading technology companies, and thereby its laws have a wide reach.
This book is of interest to academics, practitioners and organisations working in the field of public health law and children’s rights.
Dr. Katharina Ó Cathaoir is Associate Professor of Law, specialising in health law, at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen and is Pro Futura Scientia Fellow at the Swedish Collegium of Advanced Studies. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from University College Cork, an LLM from Trinity College Dublin and a PhD from the University of Copenhagen.