ILCA Releases Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

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.

ILCALogo_full_text (2)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.

2 Responses to ILCA Releases Statement on the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  1. lactationmatters 20 November 2014 at 15:45 #

    WABA has also shared a statement, which can be found at: and is reprinted below:

    WABA celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

    In 2013, nearly 3 million newborns died within the first month of life. 75 percent of this number died in the first week. Most of these deaths are preventable.[1] The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) cements the basic right of a child to adequate nutrition.

    In reflecting on the last 25 years since the convention was first entered into force, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) believes that although there have been significant improvements in terms of the rights of the child, infant mortality remains a serious issue. In 2013, the UN Inter-agency Group estimated that about 17,000 children under five died each day.[2]

    Under Article 24 of the CRC, a child has a right to adequate food and nutrition. All governments have an obligation to ratify this convention and give effect to these rights by ensuring basic knowledge of nutrition, advantages of breastfeeding and sanitation.[3] This convention echoes the ideals contained within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976).
    WABA promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding in order to uphold the rights of the child. This work includes promoting breastfeeding in emergencies,[4] maternity care, women’s rights to appropriate and necessary neonatal care[5] and the overall benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and child.

    Anwar Fazal, Chairperson Emeritus of WABA, stresses that “Breastfeeding is not just good health and good nutrition. It is good economics and good ecological practice. It is about food security and it is about human rights.” In conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of the CRC, WABA joins ILCA in calling for the ratification and implementation of this convention, and celebrates the development of the rights of the child.

    [1] Based on WHO’s fact sheet on child mortality, from
    [2] Based on the 2014 report on Levels and Trends in Child Mortality, from
    [3] See
    [4] In accordance with the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict (1974)
    [5] In accordance with the International Labour Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention (2000)

  2. In Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky we are having the World Peace Festival on Sept. 26th, 2015 at the World Peace Bell in concert with the Internationl Day of Peace. I am one of the organizers of the event and a Certified Lactation Counselor. I know that advancing breastfeeding seems far off the subject of peace, but this year we celebrate the Right of the Child to Peace is a perfect showcase for this concept.
    We know that breastfeeding advances the intellectual capacity, immunizes naturally, bonds parents to their children and the children to the family, which reduces violence in society.
    We should all be writing to Congress and the White House asking that the United States ratifiy the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We are the only country in the world that has not signed.!!! In this instance, shame on us.

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