The CRC Committee issued two new General Comments in April 2013: General Comment No. 15 on ‘the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health (art. 24)’ and General Comment No. 16 on ‘State obligations regarding the impact of the business sector on children’s rights’. These are two very important documents which frame the importance of breastfeeding within the right of the child to health and to adequate food and nutrition as well as to survival, growth and development identifying both Sates’ obligations but also business sector’s responsibilities.
General Comment 15 urges States, in the effort of diminishing infant and child mortality, to devote particular attention to neonatal mortality and are suggested, inter alia, to “pay particular attention to ensuring full protection and promotion of breastfeeding practices”. Moreover, “Exclusive breastfeeding for infants up to 6 months should be protected and promoted and breastfeeding should continue together with appropriate complementary foods preferably until two years of age as feasible. States’ obligations in this area are defined in the “protect, promote and support framework”, adopted unanimously by the World Health Assembly” in the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.
In order to prevent negative impact of marketing on children’s right to health, survival and development, States are required adopt preventive measures including appropriate and effective regulation and monitoring of advertising and marketing industries. The General Comment 16 specifically calls on States “to implement and enforce internationally agreed standards concerning children’s rights, health and business including the [...] International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions”.