Supporting global policies that protect children’s health is a priority for the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). We are proud to provide liaisons to the United Nations and stand with them on this important occasion. Watch on Facebook and Twitter for updates from our team who will be attending celebration events in New York City, New York USA this week.
As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 20 November, the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) is reminded of how far advocacy for children has come—and how much work remains ahead for us to do. We have seen improvements in infant mortality rates, educational possibilities for all children, regardless of gender or socioeconomic status, and better access to quality health care. Yet, a significant number of infant deaths still occur due to poor maternal health and suboptimal breastfeeding practices.
The treaty, which has been ratified and used to drive policy in many nations worldwide, makes a promise to protect the rights of children, which include the right to live, the right to the best healthcare possible, food and safe water to drink, clothing, and a safe place to live. These and other important rights seem like concepts every government would want to adopt and enforce, but there are still nations that have not signed onto the treaty, and not all those nations that have ratified it have fulfilled their obligations under the treaty.
The impact of the business sector on the human rights of the child cannot be underestimated, and the CRC maintains that it is the responsibility of the state to protect children from predatory business practices, to implement and enforce internationally agreed standards concerning children’s rights, health and business, including the World Health Organization International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions.
In observance of this important anniversary, ILCA calls upon its members and partner organizations worldwide to encourage ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, so that we may all continue to improve the health and safety of children everywhere.