From the Bottle to the Grave: Realizing a Human Right to Breastfeeding Through Global Health Policy
70 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011 Last revised: 24 May 2016
Date Written: April 22, 2011
This Article outlines a theoretical framework for a human right to breastfeeding, laying the normative foundation to propose an institutional framework for rights-based global breastfeeding policy. Beginning with the public health harms stemming from a global failure to realize optimal infant feeding, Part I reviews research on breastfeeding’s benefits, highlighting the dangers of breast milk substitutes in the developing world and the actions of formula corporations to subvert national health policy. In moving from these national efforts to international law, Part II traces the evolution of global health policy in responding to the marketing of breast milk substitutes and in promoting breastfeeding practice in accordance with public health standards. Given the limited success of these global breastfeeding policies, Part III envisions a human right to breastfeeding, delineating the rights holders and duty-bearers of such a right in a globalized world. To operationalize this rights-based approach to breastfeeding, Part IV proposes global health policy partnerships to develop international legal mechanisms through which states might translate a right to breastfeeding into global breastfeeding policy reflective of the public health harms of breast milk substitutes in the developing world.
Keywords: global health policy, breastfeeding, maternal and child health, human rights
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