The United Nations committees on Rights of Child, Rights to food and health have recommended that all countries need to do more to protect, promote and support breast feeding as a human right and ending of inappropriate marketing of breast milk substitutes. Only one in three of the world’s babies under 6 months are exclusively breast fed.

They expressed concern about the continued misleading marketing of breast milk substitutes and other foods intended for infants and young children. It was pointed out that there is no corporate accountability for the adverse consequences of such marketing practices. These continue to undermine efforts to improve early exclusive breast feeding habits. They act as barrier for women to exercise their rights and deny them the choice and ability to enjoy any health benefits.

Governments were briefed on the need to act in this matter and take measures like adoption of suitable legislation to end these marketing practices. This will provide adequate maternity protection and protect women from discrimination linked to breast feeding.

The United Nations further says that 8, 20,000 children could be saved if all the mothers followed its advice.
Obstacles to progress in breast feeding are lack of information from health workers, cultural and family traditions and stigmatisations of breast feeding in public places.

Children have the right to the highest attainable standards of health and breast feeding is a key part of this.

Courtesy: www.who.int


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