As a part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (commonly known as the International Code), ILCA has signed on as a NetCode partner. The news was shared with members at the recent ILCA conference by immediate past president Michele Griswold.
While the International Code outlines critical protections against predatory marketing of breast-milk substitutes, regional and national laws and regulations in line with the International Code provide the on-the-ground provisions that support families. Those regional and national laws and regulations must exist and be enforced to ensure families have a level playing field to make feeding decisions.
NetCode is a coalition of organizations working to expand and strengthen the capacity of Member States and civil society to develop, monitor, and enforce national Code legislation. Formed in 2015, NetCode members include the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), select Member State representatives, and collaborating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including ILCA.
ILCA board member Sabeen Adil recently attended the third meeting of NetCode to lend ILCA’s support to the efforts. She will be serving on the Advocacy Task Force, which will be focusing on efforts to advocate about code monitoring with health care professionals.
NetCode has developed a number of tools that you can use in your local community, including:
- NetCode toolkit. To better enable governments to monitor adherence to the International Code, NetCode developed a toolkit, consisting of an ongoing monitoring protocol and a periodic assessment protocol. The toolkit is being piloted in countries including Mexico, Cambodia, and Ghana.
- Introductory course on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. This e-learning course on the International Code is available for free at www.agora.unicef.org. It is intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the International Code, its contents, and ways in which it can be implemented and monitored. This resource is intended for policy makers, legislators, health practitioners, relevant UN agency staff and civil society partners staff.
ILCA looks forward to its ongoing involvement in NetCode’s efforts. To learn more, watch for updates here and in the ILCAlert.