Thursday, 31 May 2012

Government announces an increase of maternity leave to 6 months in Viet Nam

On Thursday 31 May 2012, Viet Nam was reviewed by the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee). IBFAN had submitted an alternative report on the situation of breastfeeding in Viet Nam.
The Committee members addressed issues of infant and young child feeding as part of the health topic. They highlighted the very low rates of exclusive breastfeeding for children under 6 months of age, and the highly spread violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. One member said that there is widespread advertisement of infant formula in Viet Nam, including on television, and infant formula companies have contacts with health professionals leading to very low breastfeeding levels among the mothers.
The government delegation mentioned the Decree through which Viet Nam implements the International Code, however it downplayed the problem of violations by saying that similar problems persist in other countries as well.
According to the government representative, one of the main reasons for which Viet Nam has low exclusive breastfeeding rates for the first 6 months (19%) is due to the fact that mothers have to go to work very early, thus one of the measures that the government announced is the prolongation of the maternity leave up to 6 months.