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20 November 2014
WABA celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
In 2013, nearly 3 million newborns died within the first month of life. 75 percent of this number died in the first week. Most of these deaths are preventable.[1] The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) cements the basic right of a child to adequate nutrition.

In reflecting on the last 25 years since the convention was first entered into force, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) believes that although there have been significant improvements in terms of the rights of the child, infant mortality remains a serious issue. In 2013, the UN Inter-agency Group estimated that about 17,000 children under five died each day.[2]

Under Article 24 of the CRC, a child has a right to adequate food and nutrition. All governments have an obligation to ratify this convention and give effect to these rights by ensuring basic knowledge of nutrition, advantages of breastfeeding and sanitation.[3] This convention echoes the ideals contained within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1976).

WABA promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding in order to uphold the rights of the child. This work includes promoting breastfeeding in emergencies,[4] maternity care, women’s rights to appropriate and necessary neonatal care[5] and the overall benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and 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 25th Anniversary 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.
[1] Based on WHO’s fact sheet on child mortality, from
[4] In accordance with the Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict (1974)
[5] In accordance with the International Labour Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention (2000)
For more information, please contact:
WABA liaison person:
Nisha Kumaravel
Communications Officer
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