You must receive sufficient food and water to keep you healthy. Therefore, the prison staff must provide you with a sufficient amount of good quality food. 

important Restricting access to food must never be used as punishment. 

Amount and quality of food

The food that you receive must be wholesome, contain all necessary nutrients and should be distributed evenly throughout the day. This means that meals should be provided three times a day with reasonable intervals between them. Clean drinking water should always be available to you. 

In Latvia, the minimum amount and the kind of food you should receive is determined by Regulations on prisoners' food and material needs

Special diet

The type and amount of food you should receive may depend on your age, health, physical condition or other reasons.

example The diet for minors or pregnant women will most probably be different to that of other inmates. 

To a certain extent, the prison staff should take into account the food requirements of your religion. Read more about the right to practice your religion in prison. 

What human rights violation may there be?

Prohibition against inhumane or degrading treatment

A lack of food or the poor quality of food may lead to a violation of the prohibition against inhuman or degrading treatment, or even torture. However, the effect that such a situation leaves on your physical and mental condition must reach a certain minimum level of severity. 

example If you were left completely without food for two days, this would be a clear violation of your rights. However, if you received only one slice of bread instead of two with your meal for a week, this most probably would not violate your rights. 

Read more about how to evaluate whether your rights have been violated.

Right to life

If anyone dies due to an inadequate amount of, or due to the quality, of food, it would be a violation of the right to life. Read more about the duty to investigate cases of loss of life in custody.

How to complain

If you believe that your rights have been violated, you should complain to the prison administration. Read more about how to complain.

You can complain about the quality of food to the Food and Veterinary Service. Read more about specific complaints.  

Human Rights Guide

A European platform for human rights education