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All About IBFAN

Information for IBFAN groups

From the reports of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child we have highlighted a few points that we 
feel IBFAN groups throughout the world should keep in mind in order to integrate the 
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) into their everyday advocacy work.

1- Find out what stage in the CRC process your country has reached: initial report, 2nd report, 3rd report (see first paragraph of point I, General Information).

* If your country has not yet been reviewed, lobby your government to prepare a report and meet its obligations as a signatory of the CRC (Brazil for example).

* Take part, if possible, in the drafting process of the official country report (at least try to find out what it consists of). (When asked for it by IBFAN-GIFA, write a report on the state of breastfeeding: see point 4, below). 

* Especially if this is the 2nd or 3rd official report, try to influence the government in preparing a document 
that describes the concrete situation of children’s lives and rights. This report should include not only
legislation that has been drafted or adopted to improve the children’s lot, but especially implementation and monitoring of these measures. The report should start off from (and take into account) the concluding observations made at the end of the previous report, five years before.

2- Join your country’s national NGO Coalition if there is one (see Annex 2 of the report), or try to create one: coalitions are very important in getting a different view across to the CRC Committee. Moreover, NGOs are explicitly encouraged by the Committee to report to it: this is relatively rare with other UN agreements/conventions and it is all the more important that we learn to use this tool. At the same time,
NGO coalitions on children’s rights often tend to put aside issues such as children’s health and nutrition 
or maternity protection at the workplace, and it is therefore essential that we integrate these issues in demands for child’s rights.

3- Find out if your country had signed the Committee petition to change Article 43 of the Convention 
aiming to extend the size of the Committee from 10 to 18 members (see last paragraph of point I, 
General Information).

* If your government has not signed, lobby it to sign as soon as possible.

* If it has signed, lobby it to present a well-known child right’s advocate for elections in 2003 (if possible, 
someone working in the field of infants’ and children’s health and nutrition).

Prepare a short 1- or 2-page IBFAN report on the state of breastfeeding in your country in time for your country’s review: GIFA-IBFAN will ask you for this report. Ideally, the information would include the following: statistics on the state of breastfeeding in your country; state of the International Code, or of the national Code, and other legislation protecting and promoting breastfeeding; Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in your country; maternity leave and maternity protection legislation in your country. GIFA-IBFAN will inform you when your country is about to be reviewed and will request a report from you at that time; we will also assist you in preparing it if necessary. 

We insist on the fact that these reports are very important: several members of the Committee have told us that they are particularly helpful as they are short and focused and give information unfound in the official government report