What We Do

Code Implementation


ICDC supports governments in the implementation national measures based on the International Code. We provide Code training, legal advice, drafting support, Code monitoring and documentation, advocacy, and capacity building. ICDC reminds governments of their promises to protect infant health and implement the Code and resolutions made at the World Health Assembly every two years.



Working with a Ministry of Health, either directly or through our network partners, we raise awareness that the Code protects mothers and infants from the marketing activities of formula companies, and help increase breastfeeding rates by creating a supportive environment for breastfeeding campaigns, such as WHO / UNICEF’s “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative”.


The protection of breastfeeding must also be kept high on international agendas. The best way to press for this is via the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, during which ICDC actively advocates for stronger Code measures and adoption of new resolutions.

Code Drafting


We assist countries in drafting or strengthening national legislation based on the Code and resolutions. This involves training government officials in both legal drafting or strengthening amendments to existing laws.


Our aims are to

  • have more countries develop and adopt national measures to give effect to the International Code
  • strengthen or improve existing national measures to make them more comprehensive and effective
  • shield mothers and health workers from commercial influences in their infant feeding decisions.

Code Training


Many countries with legislation are lacking in regulations which give effect to the law and need help to understand how the Code and resolutions protect infant health and fit into the existing legal framework; others need training of health inspectors, vetting committees and other professional bodies to give them understanding and leverage.

ICDC has more than 20 years of experience in developing and delivering Code training courses across Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Central Europe.


Our aims with Code training are to

  • encourage countries with no or limited national legislation or a voluntary code to strengthen legislation
  • improve enforcement of existing legislation
  • empower health workers to take appropriate steps to protect mothers and infants from baby milk promotion within the health system
  • build the capacity of enforcement officials to identify violations and force compliance by companies


Countries we covered over the last five years…

Bangi, Selangor,Malaysia (23-24 February 2019)
Training Course on Monitoring the Malaysian Code of Ethics for the Marketing of Infant Foods and Related Products
Dili, Timor Leste (11-15 February 2019)
Orientation and Consultation on National Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
Dhaka, Bangladesh (20-22 January 2019)
Training course on monitoring of the Bangladesh BMS Act
Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia (22-26 October 2018)
Training on Enforcement on the Mongolian Infant and Young Child Food Act
Naypyitaw, Myanmar (4-6 Sept 2018)
Training Course on Order of Marketing of Formulated Food for Infant and Young Child Myanmar

Toronto, Canada (14-16 May 2018)
Workshop on Implementing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes

Port Moresby ,Papua New Guinea
(21-30 August 2017)

Technical Support on the Review of the National Law and Code Advocacy

Bangkok ,Thailand (20 July 2017)
Capacity Building Workshop on the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes & the Monitoring and Enforcement of the Thai Law

Manila ,Philippines (16-19 January 2017)
Code Monitoring Course

Ha Noi, Viet Nam (16-17 April 2015)
Da Nang, Viet Nam (20-21 April 2015)
Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam (23-24 April 2015)
Training on Monitoring and Enforcement of Decree No 100/2014/ND-C
New Delhi, India (14-16 November 2016)
The Regional Capacity Building Workshop 
Yangon, Myanmar (10-12 March 2015)
ICDC's continuing technical support to Myanmar
Colombo, Sri Lanka (27 June-1 July 2016)
Workshop on the monitoring and enforcement of the Sri Lanka Code
Port Dickson, Malaysia (10-12 Nov 2014)
Briefing on Code Monitoring of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
Jakarta, Indonesia (25-28 Jan 2016)
Capacity Building Workshop on the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes
Jakarta, Indonesia (20-23 Oct 2014)
Regional Training Course
Panama City, Panama (31Aug-2Sept 2015)
Training Course on Implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes 1981 and subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions
Naypyitaw, Myanmar (10-12 Sept 2014)
Monitoring Training pursuant for the law in Myanmar
Morogoro, Tanzania (22-26 June 2015)
Workshop on the monitoring and enforcement in Tanzania
Kelana Jaya, Malaysia (21-23 August 2014)
Code Monitoring for mother's support group

Code Monitoring and Documentation


ICDC is the only centralised Code monitoring agency of the breastfeeding movement. We collect potential violations (examples of marketing practices prohibited under the Code) sent to us by the IBFAN network, health workers, or others, which we verify, tag, data process and conduct legal analysis. These verified violations are used in training and form the basis of our publication Breaking the Rules. We also track the state of Code implementation, in terms of the number of Code provisions implemented by national measures and their effectiveness in protecting breastfeeding.


With monitoring, our aims are to


  • generate high quality, legally accurate information by country and by company on violations of the International Code and implemented national legislation


  • make this information available in user-friendly, professional publications for use as advocacy tools

Model Law


The Model Law can be found in these two publicationsICDC has developed a Model Law to assist governments in translating the International Code into legislation that can be monitored and enforced at a national level.  All the provisions of the Code, as well as the essence of each relevant World Health Assembly resolution, are incorporated into the Model Law. Countries may modify the Model Law to fit their own legal systems and needs.

The Model Law can be found in these two publications

Images from past ICDC Code Training


A four-day workshop on improving Code implementation in Kuwait, June 2011 at the invitation of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health, Department of Food and Nutrition. 


Acquainting enforcement officials in Zimbabwe on their roles and responsibilities under their Code law (March 2013).


Apart from training government officials, IBFAN-ICDC also focuses on capacity building of IBFAN groups around the world. Pictures above show training activities in Toronto, Canada (June 2013) jointly with INFACT Canada and in Thessaloniki, Greece (October 2013) with the youngest IBFAN group in Europe, IBFAN Greece.

She made a difference


ICDC’s Code monitoring role rides on materials our volunteers provide. Their unstinting support has made it possible for IBFAN-ICDC to challenge companies on their track record in Code compliance, keeping them on their toes and watching their backs.  There are many volunteer monitors who act as ICDC’s eyes and ears and we are proud to feature one of our most prolific monitors – Bindi Borg – in this column.


Bindi Borg, a development practitioner who conducts research in infant and young child feeding, has a lot of balls in the air.  While working on her research in Cambodia, Bindi, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, a trained breastfeeding counsellor and a mother of two, combined her many roles to become Code monitor extraordinaire.