L'oeil de la Genève Internationale
May 2016

The World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) present the first joint global report on the legal status of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in 194 WHO Member States. The report, "Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: National implementation of the International Code - Status report 2016", reveals the status of national laws to protect and promote breastfeeding.

According to the report, nearly 2 out of 3 infants are not exclusively breastfed for the recommended 6 months by WHO and UNICEF- a rate that has not improved in 2 decades. It is also stated that increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save the lives of more than 820 000 children under the age of five each year and would significantly reduce costs for treatment of childhood illnesses such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and asthma.

The report reveals that 135 countries have some form of Code-related legal measures in place, an increase from 103 in 2011. However, only 39 countries have legislation incorporating all or most Code provisions, a slight increase from 37 countries in 2011. The report includes case studies on countries that have strengthened their laws or monitoring systems for the Code in recent years like Armenia, Botswana, India and Vietnam.

Inspired by the Old Masters, the series "TT" by the artist photographer Marie-Claire Saille puts in parallel the portraits and testimonies of mothers who have made the choice or not to breastfeed. Fathers were not forgotten, Marie-Claire Saille explains « My project tries to question the issues that lie under this choice (if it is a choice) and to go beyond these judgments by placing a breastfed child and bottle-fed child on the same plane. Fathers have also participated in this project and their testimonies matter. What is their place today with respect to the feeding of their babies? ».