Media Alert Celebrating International Child Rights Day

MEDIA ALERT: Celebrating International Child Rights Day

20 November 2008, (15.00-18.00)

Mercure Forsan Island Hotel, Ismaïlia, Egypt

11 November 2008 – Geneva.

The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) is pleased to invite you to join representatives

of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Egyptian authorities in celebrating International

Child Rights Day at a media event on 20 November.

With food prices rising, the global economy in crisis, and the contaminated baby milk scandal still impacting thousands of lives, now, more than ever, the right of every child to health and adequate nutrition should

be at the top of every agenda. To highlight solutions, IBFAN will launch the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative in the Arab World region.

This initiative is already implemented in 51 countries around the world,” said IBFAN’s Dr. Mohamed Marwan in Egypt. “We are thrilled to be launching it in the Arab World on this important day.” 

According to UNICEF, only 38 percent of infants under six months of age in the developing world are

exclusively breastfed. “Breastfeeding is a key tool in improving child survival,” said UNICEF’s Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, at the launch of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week. “Exclusive breastfeeding for the

first six months of life can avert up to 13 per cent of under-five deaths in developing countries

The World Health Organization also promotes exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life to reduce infant mortality linked to undernutrition, acute respiratory infection, diarrhea and other infectious diseases. Breastfeeding also contributes to the health of mothers, and creates a bond between the mother and child. 

This event is organised by IBFAN with the support of the Government of Norway. Norwegian Prime Minister

Jens Stoltenberg is a long-term supporter of child and maternal health and in 2007 pledged the equivalent of one billion US dollars to that cause.

Breastfeeding is an important issue for child survival,” Stoltenberg said. “The four million newborn who die in

their first month may survive the first days and weeks of their lives if they are breastfed, and have access to antibiotics and health personnel

Event speakers, as well as IBFAN members from all continents, representing 24 countries, are available for interview during and after the event.

Event details

What: Celebrating International Child Rights Day, “Every Child’s Right to Survival, Growth and Optimal


When: 15.00 to 18.00, 20 November 2008

Where: Mercure Forsan Island Hotel, Forsan Island, Ismaïlia, Egypt.

Programme speakers

* Ms. Alison Linnecar, International Coordinator, IBFAN-Geneva, Switzerland

* Mr Andres Vethe, Norwegian Ambassador, Norwegian Embassy, Cairo

* Dr Viviane Fouad, Medical Advisor, National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Cairo

* Dr Ghada Hafez, Advisor to Regional Director, Women´s Health, WHO Eastern Mediterranean

Regional Office, Cairo

* Dr Erma Manoncourt, Director, UNICEF Egypt, Cairo

* Dr Arun Gupta, Director, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India, New Delhi

* Governor Abdel Galil El Fakharany, Governorate of Ismailia

About International Child Rights Day: 20 November

International Child Rights Day is the day that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the

Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989).


The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) works around the world to reduce infant and young child morbidity and mortality, aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of babies and young children, their

mothers and their families, through the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and optimal infant feeding practices.

About the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative

The World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi)is a global initiative to assess policy and programmes that support breastfeeding. By 2009, over one hundred countries will be participating in WBTi, creating an

enormous database of information on policy and programmes that support breastfeeding, and thus child

and maternal health. 


Breastfeeding statistics were sourced from: Progress for Children 2008; State of the World´s Children 2007; WHO Collaborative Team on the Role of Breastfeeding in the Prevention of Infant Mortality, Lancet 2000, 55: 451-5.  


Nahed Ismail – IBFAN Arab World Coordinator, Ismaïlia

Email: [email protected]

Phone: + 20 16 789 49 13

Alison Linnecar – IBFAN-GIFA International Coordinator, Geneva

Email: [email protected]

Phone: + 41 22 798 91 64

High-resolution images are also available on request.