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Protecting policies to safeguard child nutrition

In 2012, the National Assembly of Viet Nam banned the advertisement of breastmilk substitutes for children under 24 months — a policy that closely aligns with international recommendations. This became Article 7.4 of the national Advertisement Law.

In September 2016, Viet Nam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment proposed a controversial revision to this Article, which would reduce the ban on the advertisements of breastmilk substitutes from children under 24 months to children under 12 months.

To help prevent this proposed action, and safeguard progress in child nutrition, Alive & Thrive partnered with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO), and UNICEF on policy advocacy efforts. Alive & Thrive, WHO, and UNICEF wrote carefully crafted letters to important leaders of the National Assembly and government asking them not to change the existing regulations of article 7.4. In addition, the three partners mobilized influential stakeholders and advocates to raise awareness of this proposed revision through social and traditional media. These efforts helped contribute to the news media coverage below.

As a result, on October 8, 2016, the Ministry of Planning and Investment officially withdrew their proposal.

Alive & Thrive has translated and added English subtitles to this video for our English audience. The original video is attributed to Hanoi Television and can be found here: