Plot 66-67 Kiriwawanvu Lane, GACCETA Estate, Gayaza-Kalagi Road, Wakiso District, Uganda. P.O Box 16414, Wandegeya. Email: info@cefroht.org | Tel: +256 414 660813 | +256 772 480179

BREASTFEEDING

Breastfeeding as a right to babies and mothers.

CEFROHT advocates for breastfeeding as a right to babies/children and women. Breastmilk is the first food for children and the failure to breastfeed is a violation of the right to adequate food which is a generational threat. Although breastfeeding and breastmilk is a “lifeline” food to babies and a preventative measure to many diseases for mothers, 57.2% of children in Uganda between 0-6 months are not exclusively breastfed an indicator of the high rates of undernutrition which accounts to 45% of all child deaths annually according to UNICEF. This falls far short of the 2030 Global target of 70 percent.

Breastfeeding is a universally recognized component of a child’s right to life, the right to enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and adequate food as it contains. The WHO and UNICEF recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and an introduction of nutritionally- adequate and safe complementary foods at 6 months together with continued breastfeeding of up to 2 years of age or beyond. Uganda’s legal framework however, is not explicit on exclusive breastfeeding in both formal and informal workplaces. The Employment Act under Section 56 provides for only 60 working days as maternity leave. However, the Act is silent on the extra 3 months on how the mother will exclusively breastfeed while at work. As a result, many working mothers are at risk of stopping exclusive feeding at the end of to achieve the 6 months exclusive period. This leaves many children malnourished and unable to realize their potential for the future. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization states that nutrition plays a critical role in human resource development since deficiencies in essential nutrients lead to malnutrition, which affects an individual’s mental and physical state, resulting in poor health and poor work performance.

Breastfeeding is an important vehicle for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals as well as achieving an adequate standard of living. The Convention on the Rights of a Child recognizes the child’s right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standards of health among which nutrition is crucial. Similarly, The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 is to the effect that the State is under an obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of all Ugandans including the rights of babies to adequate food, the right to the highest attainable standard of health and the rights of women. CEFROHT believes that promoting breastfeeding using a human rights-based approach will facilitate the involvement of both duty bearers and rights holders in determining the appropriate legal and policy framework and the importance of breastfeeding for the future generation. Therefore, it’s upon this ground that CEFROHT comes up to advocate for the right to breastfeeding through a campaign that was titled the breastfeeding campaign. Given the potential of breastfeeding for the generation, CEFROHT has diverted the campaign from just a commemoration of the World Breastfeeding Week (1st-7th August) to an ongoing campaign. We believe that this strategy will maintain the momentum and continue to protect, urge government and private sector to fulfill and respect the rights of babies and mothers right to breastfeeding.