15 May, 2018
Every two years since 1986, IBFAN-ICDC publishes the State of the Code by Country (SOCC), an easy-to-view chart listing the status of 198 countries in Code implementation. Findings of the SOCC 2018 reflect that 36 countries have implemented all or nearly all provisions of the International Code as national law, 31 countries have enacted legislation encompassing many provisions of the International Code, and 61 countries have enacted legislation that give effect to only few of the Code provisions.
The SOCC is important for Code advocacy – it reminds countries of where they are at in Code implementation, and their obligation to give effect to the International Code through national legislation, regulations, or other suitable measures. Where the Code is already in place, the SOCC can be used to call on governments to improve their national measures through amendments, monitoring and especially: enforcement.
As of 2016, after 30 years of independent surveys, data collected for SOCC is also being used in a joint periodic status report published by WHO, UNICEF, and IBFAN – Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes: National Implementation of the International Code Status Report. Findings in the SOCC and the joint report are harmonised, but to preserve the unique features of the SOCC, IBFAN-ICDC has maintained 9 categories, which include countries with national measures other than laws. This is where this Chart departs from the joint WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN report which only records legislative measures, not voluntary ones or national policies.
SOCC 2018 also provides short analyses on Code implementation and its challenges worldwide, and latest highlights on related topics such as Code and trade, Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, Human Rights and Maternity Protection.
Complimentary copies of SOCC 2018 will be available at the upcoming 71st World Health Assembly, 21 – 26 May, 2018.
Contact person: Constance Ching, Programme Manager, IBFAN-ICDC