On 15 and 16 September 2016, the Committee of the Rights of the Child reviewed the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in New Zealand. On this occasion, IBFAN submitted a short report highlighting the main obstacles to breastfeeding observed in the country and made a suggested a set of related recommendations to the Committee.
- Read IBFAN short report on the situation of infant and young child feeding in New Zealand in English and in Spanish
Most of the obstacles to breastfeeding mentioned in IBFAN report were raised in the dialogue between the Committee and the State party, in particular the desestablishement of the National Breastfeeding Committee in 2008 which prevented the National Strategic Plan of Action for breastfeeding to be updated as it should have been. The Committee also expressed concerns about the lack of implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent, relevant WHA resolutions and highlighted that the voluntary industry Code in place is self-monitored, which results in systematic Code violations in the country. The Committe emphasized the need to enforce the Code through an independent, consistent monitoring of industry practice and to establish an effective sanction mechanism with deterrent sanctions for Code violators.
The delegation answered that with respect to the 2012 plan of action for breastfeeding, a group of assessors working on healthy eating habits has been established and that there is a programme of prevention in place. They admitted that the Code is not implemeted but they noted that according to the government, the Code should be applied as a voluntary measure.
In its follow-up questions, the Committee asked about the enforcement mechanism in place to ensure that the baby food industry does not violate the Code. The delegation answered that the is a independent panel in charge of collecting the claims against the baby food industry, but that there are not sanctions for those who violate the Code. In addition, the delegation informed the Committee that there are qualified nursed to promote breastfeeding to mothers.
The Committee’s Conclduing Observations will soon be released and further update will be provided.