Experts call for end to breast-milk substitutes

MotherandchildUnited Nations (UN) human rights experts have urged countries to end the inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children. 

They emphasized the importance and benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and her child, and called for more moves to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as a human right.

These were contained in a joint statement issued by the UN Special Rapporteurs on the Right to Food and the Right to Health, UN Working Group on Discrimination against Women in Law and in Practice, and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child made available to the Ghana News Agency.

The statement expressed concern about the lack of progress made in improving breastfeeding rates globally and in providing women and children with the requisite support and protection.

The experts pointed out that there was little corporate accountability for the adverse consequences of such marketing practices, which continued to undermine efforts to improve early and exclusive breastfeeding rates.

They noted that marketing practices act as barriers for women to exercise their rights, as they often negatively affect the choice and ability of mothers to enjoy the many health benefits breastfeeding provides.

They welcomed renewed global efforts to protect and support breastfeeding and to reduce the inappropriate marketing of commercially prepared foods for infants and young children.

The experts called on governments to recognize their core obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other relevant UN human rights treaties.

These relate to the rights to respect, protect and fulfil children’s right to life, survival and development, right to safe and nutritious foods, and their right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health; and to ensure that women’s rights are protected from harmful interference by non-State actors, in particular the business sector.

They urged governments to take all necessary measures including the adoption and enforcement of comprehensive legislation to end inappropriate marketing practices, provide adequate maternity protection, and protect women from discrimination linked to breastfeeding.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.