Background on Australia’s breastfeeding commitments   


The international community has been calling for the protection, promotion and support for breastfeeding as a human right for decades and the Australian community has supported, signed up to or endorsed every single one of these international agreements, strategies and human rights conventions.


The transition from endorsement to legislation and action, though, is lacking, as was revealed in the latest stakeholder consultation for the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy.


International commitments and breastfeeding strategies that Australia has endorsed or agreed to as a member state of the United Nations and/or World Health Organization:


1981 The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code)

1981 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child

1990 Innocenti Declaration on Infant and Young Child Feeding

1991 Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI)


2003 Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding (GSIYCF) 

2016 World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions to end inappropriate promotion of foods for infant and young children 


How Australia has interpreted and inadequately fulfilled its commitments to the rights and health care for women:


1992 Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas (MAIF): Manufacturers and Importers Agreement

2007 Best Start Report: Inquiry into the Benefits of Breastfeeding

2010 Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015

2010 Implementation Plan for ANBS

2017 Final Progress Report on the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy 2010-2015

2017 Report on Stakeholder Consultations of the 2010-2015 Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy


Current evidence and recommendations on how to protect, promote and support women’s rights to breastfeed as they wish:

Evidence Check: Review of effective strategies to promote breastfeeding

World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Report



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