News from secretariat
Support Women’s Right to Breastfeed!
WABA celebrates International Women’s Day 2015: commemorating 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Discussions on this historic roadmap (which set the agenda for realizing women’s rights, signed by 189 governments in 1995) are set to take place at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) between 9-20 March in New York. WABA Steering Committee endorsed WABA Secretariat’s collaboration with the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) and 1000 Days, on a call for“Supporting Women’s Right to Breastfeed”, in a Joint Statement and Call for Action to the CSW 59. See Advocacy Subsection for FULL Statement. WABA is also supporting the CSW parallel event entitled "Mothers Matter" on 17 March 2015, between 8-10am at the Church Centre of the United Nations. See Advert here
WABA responds to UN Secretary-General's call to Civil Society on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Comment of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action to the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Development Report
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), its Core Partners and allies believe that breastfeeding promotes and protects the physical and emotional health and nutrition of baby and mother, preserves the environment, conserves financial resources, and makes the world a more secure place now and in the future. It is an essential component of any sustainable development goals and underpinned by several global documents such as the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (2002) and the WHO Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and young child nutrition (2010).

See full Comment here

End of Year THANK YOU, and Announcement of WBW 2015 Slogan and Theme

Dear World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2014 Celebrants and Supporters,

Season’s Greetings from the WABA Secretariat!

As we approach the end of 2014, WABA would like to sincerely thank all WBW celebrants from across the world who celebrated World Breastfeeding Week so positively.

To date we have received 534 pledges for events taking place globally; and reports sent to us tabulated involvement of over 1,315,593 WBW 2014 celebrants. Additional data gathered from English language media noted that the governments of 32 countries commemorated WBW 2014 independently. There were also endorsements and celebrations by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

THANK YOU for all your great work and Congratulations to everyone involved for making WBW 2014 such a success!

WABA is now pleased to announce that the slogan and theme for WBW 2015 World Breastfeeding Week is: 'Breastfeeding and Work - Let's Make it Work!'

This WBW 2015 theme on working women and breastfeeding revisits the 1993 WBW campaign on the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative. Much has been achieved in 22 years of global action supporting women in combining breastfeeding and work, particularly the adoption of the revised ILO Convention 183 on Maternity Protection with much stronger maternity entitlements, and more country actions on improving national laws and practices. At workplace level, we have also seen more actions taken to set up breastfeeding or mother-friendly workplaces including awards for breastfeeding-friendly employers, as well as greater mass awareness on working women's rights to breastfeed. Yet, after over two decades, global monitoring on infant and young child feeding progress shows that this fourth Innocenti Declaration (1991) target is still the most difficult to meet!

The focus on working women and breastfeeding was endorsed at the WABA Extraordinary Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting (EBPM) held in Penang, 8-10 November 2013; with earlier discussions during the WABA Global Forum and Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting (GBPM) 2010; as well as the 2013 and 2014 WABA Steering Committee Meetings.

WABA Senior Consultant, Sarah Amin, has been appointed Key Writer for the WBW 2015 Calendar Announcement, Action Folder etc, working with small team of WABA SC members, and Core Partner representatives.

WBW 2015 Objectives are to:

1. Galvanise multi-dimensional support from all sectors to enable women everywhere to work and breastfeed.
2. STEP UP actions by employers to become Family/Parent/Baby and Mother-Friendly, and to actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding.
3. Inform people about the latest in Maternity Protection entitlements globally, and raise awareness about the need for strengthening related national legislation along with implementation.
4. Showcase, facilitate and strengthen supportive practices that can enable women working in the informal sector to breastfeed.
5. Engage and partner with specific target groups e.g. with Trade Unions, Workers Rights Organisations, Women’s groups and Youth groups, to protect the breastfeeding rights of women in the workplace.

The Calendar Announcement is being developed and should be ready for distribution at end January 2015. So do keep a look out for it.

WABA looks forward to actively collaborating with you all for WBW 2015!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Jennifer Mourin
WABA World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) Global Coordinator
30 Dec 2014

Please see here for PDFs of this announcement in Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Getting to Zero: Maximising Infant HIV-free Survival through Breastfeeding

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) celebrates World AIDS Day on 1 December each year with colleagues and friends to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic and emphasise the critical need for a committed, meaningful and sustained response.

Please click here and read the full statement.
Please click here and read the full statement in Spanish.
Please click here and read the full statement in Portuguese.

WABA celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the 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 25thAnniversary 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. Click here for more information.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) supports Consumers International’s call for a Global Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets.
WABA supports recommendations made by Consumers International for a Global Convention, particularly its call to (a) increase awareness and education on nutrition, (b) strengthen control and restriction of advertising and promotion of unhealthy food and beverage products, and (c) ethical labelling, coding and advertising of food and beverage products. Click here for more information.

WABA Statement to the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)
The 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will take place 19-21 November 2014, in Rome, Italy. The conference will convene high-level government officials and stakeholders with the overall goal of improving diets and raising nutrition levels through policies that more effectively address today’s major nutrition challenges.

The WABA has crafted a Statement with Call for Action to position breastfeeding as a crucial part of the nutrition debate. The WABA Statement to ICN2 asserts that the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding is a human right, and is a vital component of any concrete response that governments and relevant UN agencies intend to take in tackling the critical problems facing countries on nutrition.

This Statement has already been endorsed by WABA Core Partners and Allies: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), La Leche League International (LLLI), Wellstart International; the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI - University of North Carolina), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Society of Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP), and the People's Health Movement (PHM).

WABA encourages your organisation to share this Statement widely within your networks, with partner NGOs/CSOs, and with your government contacts!
See FULL WABA Statement to ICN2 and Call for Action

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) /La Leche League International (LLLI) Global Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Programme
A new collaborative project between WABA and LLLI is being established. A WABA/LLLI Global Breastfeeding Peer Counselling Training Programme specifically geared to train Peer Counsellor Program Administrators is in the works.

The WABA/LLLI PCP trainings would target NGOs, organisations and individuals who would like to become Peer Counsellor Program Administrators to start a Peer Counsellor Programme in their part of the world. The programme will be based on a revised and updated version of the original LLLI material that has proved its worth since the 1980s.

Anne Batterjee, LLLI Board of Director, has been appointed as WABA Steering Committee member for Global position effective from 1st September 2014. With her long involvement with WABA work, Anne is a wonderful addition to the Steering Committee.

Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2014
‘Ten Years of the Right to Food Guidelines: Gains, Challenges and Concerns’

Oct 8, 2014 - WABA announces the launch of the global Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2014, dedicated to celebrating and critically assessing ‘Ten Years of the Right to Food Guidelines: Gains, Challenges and Concerns’ on the 10th Anniversary of the FAO Right to Food Guidelines.

“As a global alliance of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, WABA asserts that breastfeeding has a vital role in making food security a reality for millions of babies born every year”, asserts Jay Sharma, WABA Executive Director. “While included in the Voluntary Right to Food Guidelines, current statistics show that breastfeeding rates are abysmally low across the globe due to a confluence of factors including aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes, and lack of political will and a reluctance to make resources available by governments” he argues.

This dire scenario is even more critical for countries ravaged by emergencies and disasters! “Disasters are not exceptional situations in which states are exempt from their responsibilities with regard to the right to adequate food and nutrition… During emergencies, support for exclusive and continued breastfeeding is absolutely critical for the health and lives of infants and young children”, argues WABA’s representative to the WATCH Consortium board, Dr Marcos Arana, in his co-written article for the WATCH 2014 report. “Donations and untargeted distribution of breast-milk substitutes and ready-to-use foods (RUFs), together with the distribution of globally marketed seed varieties, create dependence, discourage breastfeeding by interfering with women’s options to decide the best manner in which to feed their children, erode local food culture, and undermine food sovereignty”, he stresses.

See more at: WABA Advocacy Section

International Youth Day 2014
“Youth and Mental Health”

WABA International Youth Day Statement

The theme for International Youth Day for 2014 is “Youth and Mental Health”. WABA takes this occasion to reiterate that breastfeeding is an important factor that benefits child development and aids the wellbeing of both mother and child.

Read the full statement here

For older news please click here

The WABA Coordinated World Breastfeeding Week is part of the gBICS (Global Breastfeeding Initiative for Child Survival) Programme entitled: "Enhancing Breastfeeding Rates Contributes to Women's Rights, Health, and a Sustainable Environment". The gBICS Programme aims to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development - beyond the Millennium Development Goals - by scaling up breastfeeding and infant and young child interventions and transforming Policies into Practice which contributes to efforts aimed at addressing climate change and gender inequality in the framework of human rights. WABA is grateful to NORAD (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) for its support of gBICS.

News from around
New EU rules will trick parents into buying expensive and unnecessary products that will fuel the obesity crisis
Health advocates from across Europe have decried new rules on baby formulas and foods that are being forced through by the European Commission with no time for proper consultation and expert reflection. The EU Commission claims that its proposals are a step forward but has taken little account of developments in the global market in the last 10 years where a whole range of new formulas are being aggressively marketed to parents. Patti Rundall of Baby Milk Action-IBFAN UK said: “If these proposals go ahead unchanged they can only bring discredit to the EU, a region that prides itself on its high levels of health safety and consumer protection, human rights and sensitivity to the developing world. Advertising of breastmilk substitutes and sweet processed foods for young babies flies in the face of all health recommendations and conflicts with national health priorities and policies of many EU countries.” See Full Press Release here

“Working together for breastfeeding success”
joint online conference

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) and iLactation’s “Working together for breastfeeding success” joint online conference consists of selection of presentations from the ABM 19th annual meeting, recorded in Cleveland Ohio in November 2014 and selected presentations from What Every Physician Needs To Know About Breastfeeding™ online version. The conference begins on March 4, 2015 and continues online for 6 weeks.

To view more information please visit
Two updates from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM)
ABM is doing its first Joint Online Breastfeeding Conference with iLactation featuring sessions from the 19th Annual Meeting and special presentations from WEPNK (What Every Physician Needs to Know About Breastfeeding). ABM members receive a special discount – log in to your ABM membership page for the discount code. For information visit:

Addtionally, ABM has updated its protocol on contraception and breastfeeding. The long awaited protocol revision on Contraception and Breastfeeding by Drs. Pamela Berens and Miriam Labbok is out. This revision on a crucial topic has useful information for those counseling mothers regarding contraceptive choices. For information see:

A Conference on 'Expansion of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to Neonatal Wards (Neo-BFHI)' is taking place 19-20 May 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden
The conference and workshops are organized by the Nordic and Quebec Neo-BFHI Working Group to support, promote and protect breastfeeding of preterm, low birth weight and sick infants requiring neonatal intensive/special care around the world. The Conference Purpose? To prepare the participants for implementation of the program and to discuss barriers, and activities to overcome them. The conference addresses all types of professionals involved in clinical work, education, research, public health, organization of health care service related to neonatal intensive care. See more information on the Conference here
Formula feeding is the formula for disaster for the environment, say experts!
Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI)/IBFAN ASIA announce their latest publication “Formula for Disaster: weighing the impact of formula feeding Vs breastfeeding on environment” which is out now. The path breaking publication aims to raise awareness of the positive impact of breastfeeding on our environment and throws light on the negative impact of formula feeding. This publication positions formula feeding as detrimental to global environment, where as breastfeeding is positioned healthier for mothers, children and the planet.

To download the publications please click here


Governments met in the FAO Headquarters in Rome from 10-12 October to finalize the Rome Political Declaration and the Framework for Action for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). After 22 years, civil society organizations (CSOs) were expecting significant progress to address the urgent problem of the more than 200 million children who suffer from acute and chronic malnutrition, the 800 million suffering from undernourishment and the 500 million adults with obesity. CSOs consider the outcomes of this negotiation to be totally inadequate to confront the root causes of malnutrition and call into question the lack of commitment of the States to make a real step forward in the fight against malnutrition in all its forms.

The ICN2 negotiations failed to recognize that the current hegemonic food system and agro-industrial production model are not only unable to respond to the existing malnutrition problems but have contributed to the creation of different forms of malnutrition and the decrease of the diversity and quality of diets. Unfair trade agreements, lack of investment in small-scale food production and support to agro business models, have led to displacement of small-scale producers all over the world. Marketing of ultra-processed products, high in energy, sugar and salt, has contributed to the surge of obesity in the world. At the same time, unethical practices by breastmilk-substitute producers continue to undermine the life-saving practice of breastfeeding. The conference also failed to recognize gender inequality and women’s rights violations (child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, violence against women, inter alia) as one of the root causes of women and child malnutrition.

How can we expect a political declaration based on such a flawed diagnosis to serve as the basis for an effective and coherent framework for action?

See Full CSO Delegation Statement here.

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies
Infants and young children are vulnerable in any emergency. It is the position of the International Lactation Consultant Association that supporting their wellbeing should be a priority of governments, aid agencies, health workers, and members of the public. Such support should include assistance for exclusive and continued breastfeeding, safe artificial feeding where breastfeeding or provision of human milk is not possible, and appropriate complementary feeding for all infants and young children.

To read the full position paper on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies from ILCA, please click here.

10 Years of the Right to Adequate Food Guidelines - Progress, Obstacles and the Way Ahead Civil Society Synthesis Paper for the 41st Session of the UN Committee on World Food Security

This paper is a product of a broad civil society consultation process, facilitated by the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, with the political support of the member organizations of the Civil Society Mechanism to the Committee on World Food Security.

Ten years ago, in November 2004, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) adopted the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (RtAF Guidelines). Initiated by civil society, negotiated in a collaborative process, and unanimously adopted by all FAO member states, the RtAF Guidelines represented hope for a greater consensus on what was needed to make the human right to adequate food and nutrition a reality for people on the ground. Indeed, by delineating clear steps on how states could implement the right to food, and further still how to take a holistic approach – one that recognizes the importance of legal entitlements, policy coherence, and participation of rights holders – the RtAF Guidelines were set to reshape food system governance.

But what happened in the last ten years? What trends and events have shaped the context in which the right to food must be implemented? What, if any, successes at implementation have been achieved at the national, regional, and global level? What obstacles and challenges have inhibited progress? And how do we move forward to ensure a world where every person and community can enjoy the right to adequate food and nutrition? To mark the 10th anniversary of the RtAF Guidelines, civil society and social movements contributing to the promotion and defense of the human right to adequate food and food sovereignty have embarked on a critical assessment of where we are now in the struggle for solidifying the human right to adequate food and nutrition and where we must go.

See ull Civil Society Synthesis Paper here

For more information also see:

For older news please click here
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