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ICDC History

 

The International Code Documentation Centre (ICDC) was formalised in 1991 during a meeting in the Hague, Netherlands to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. That meeting proposed that there should be one worldwide centre to collect and analyse draft legislation and other measures to implement the International Code. ICDC would also serve as a training and publications unit.

ICDC is registered as a Dutch Foundation.

ICDC Operations

 

ICDC, part of the global International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), operates from the IBFAN Penang office, based in Malaysia. ICDC advises the leading organisations in child health: UNICEF, WHO, and the global IBFAN network.

 

As ICDC’s focus is on the implementation of the International Code, we keep track of Code implementation measures worldwide, and house the most complete collection of national legislation and other measures taken by countries to implement the Code. We also publish reports on Code implementation and compliance.  But our core activities are to

 

  • collect and compile national legislation, both in draft and final form
  • analyse, compare, and evaluate the different measures, using the International Code as a yardstick
  • offer skills training in Code implementation and in effective monitoring of marketing practices
  • assist governments in drafting legislation

Mission and Vision

 

ICDC envisions a world where mothers make infant feeding decisions free from commercial influence. When mothers are given the chance to breastfeed without competition from baby food industry promotions and marketing hype, they can make fact-based feeding choices.

 

To achieve this, ICDC works to stop the promotion of breastmilk substitutes to pregnant women and mothers by encouraging and supporting governments to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes as law.  Our actions aim to

 

  • create an environment supportive of breastfeeding and “baby-friendly” initiatives
  • reduce infant deaths and illness caused by breastmilk substitutes

Senior Management

Annelies Allain – Director

Global advisor on Code monitoring and enforcement

 

Annelies Allain is an economist and a linguist but life decided she would get involved in health. In 1979, Annelies helped found IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network), which works for better child health and nutrition through the promotion of breastfeeding and the elimination of irresponsible marketing of infant foods, bottles and teats. For the past 35 years, Annelies has continued to build the IBFAN network.

 

She was closely involved with the drafting of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.  She started the IBFAN Geneva office and helped to organise others. She set up the International Code Documentation Centre in Penang, Malaysia in 1991 and holds the position of Director.

 

Yeong Joo Kean, LLM

Legal advisor on Code legislation

 

Yeong Joo Kean is a Malaysian lawyer with a postgraduate degree from the University of London. She was in private practice for 11 years before joining IBFAN-ICDC in 1999. During her practising years, Joo Kean was awarded 2 Chevening Scholarships from the British High Commission to pursue her legal education in public interest work, an area she now actively pursues. Her work at ICDC has taken her out of the courtrooms into the international health arena where she trains government officials, policy makers and civil society organisations in Code implementation and Code monitoring at the international, regional and national levels.

 

Joo Kean helms ICDC’s Code monitoring programme and is in charge of ICDC’s periodic publications like its flagship global monitoring report, Breaking the Rules, Stretching the RulesState of the Code by Country and other Code publications like the Code Essentials series.

 

Based in Penang, Malaysia, Joo Kean also acts as consultant to national governments on Code projects, which includes legislative drafting and training. Her work assignments have taken her to many countries in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.

Constance Ching 

Programme Manager

 

Constance Ching, Programme Manager, is a social worker who, prior to her relocation to Malaysia, supervised a university-wide service-learning programme that serves a diversified underprivileged population at City University of Hong Kong for 4 years. Before that, she was a social worker and programme manager at community-based programmes for the homeless population living with mental illness and HIV/AIDS in New York City for 7 years.

 

In October 2014, Constance joined IBFAN-ICDC and is currently responsible for programme coordination and development. With her social work background, Constance understands the importance of policy-level advocacy, and how it impacts local communities. Additionally, her previous work experience with the homeless who live with mental illness and HIV/AIDS has provided her with the foundation on public health issues and policy. This very exposure has in turn helped frame her perspective on breastfeeding protection as a pertinent global public health issue, and one that is critical in leveling the health disparities among infants and young children between poverty and affluence.

 

Constance obtained her Master of Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work, City University of New Year as a recipient of the scholarship programme from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She is currently pursuing her PhD at Universiti Sains Malaysia.

awards

Awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1998

Awards

 

 The efforts of IBFAN have received global recognition. In 1998, IBFAN’s work—20 years of campaigning for mothers’ rights to  choose to breastfeed free from commercial  pressure—was recognized with the prestigious Right Livelihood Award. This alternative Nobel prize”, presented in the Swedish parliament, was given for IBFAN’s “vision and work contributing to making life more whole, healing our planet and uplifting humanity.” Visit rightlivelihood.org

The IBFAN Network

 

The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) works for better infant health and nutrition through the promotion of breastfeeding and the elimination of irresponsible marketing of infant foods, bottles and teats. Founded in 1979, it now comprises more that 270 breastfeeding interest groups worldwide who work to reduce infant and young child morbidity and mortality. Find out more about our partners at ibfan.org

Funding Policy

 

IBFAN-ICDC believes that commercial interests should never interfere with the public interest esp. not with public health.  Therefore, IBFAN-ICDC does not accept funding from corporate enterprises

Cover_CR_2016

In May, 1981, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the International Code of Breastmilk Substitutes. ICDC works with governments to implement the Code as law.

ICDC is part of the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN). We work to reduce infant and young child morbidity and mortality through the protection and promotion of breastfeeding. Find out more about IBFAN

Educating government officials on the importance of protecting breastfeeding, and how the Code achieves this, is a major part of the process towards legislation.  Joo Kean, ICDC’s legal advisor, conducted Code advocacy and implementation training in Zimbabwe, March, 2013.

Monitoring manufacturers’ compliance with the Code is important. ICDC works with IBFAN partners and government agencies to build capacity of government officials in monitoring the Code. The above pictures taken in Laos in June 2014 show monitors learning how to analyze company materials, check product labeling and interview mothers in healthcare facilities.

“You’re disturbing me!” says this breastfeeding baby to a Code monitor.

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