Viet Nam adopts mandatory regulations on workplace lactation support

Baby in the wrap carrier

This news article was originally published by Alive and Thrive here

11 February 2021 — Viet Nam has adopted Decree 145, supporting working mothers to continue breastfeeding. Endorsed by the Prime Minister, the decree mandates 60-minute paid breastfeeding breaks and lactation rooms in companies with over 1,000 female employees.

Millions of working women in Viet Nam stand to benefit from a new decree supporting working mothers to continue breastfeeding.

Nearly 40 percent of female workers in Viet Nam’s formal sector are covered by the decree; companies with fewer employees are being encouraged to implement the same practices. Together with a six-month paid maternity leave regulation issued in 2013, Decree 145 demonstrates Viet Nam’s determination to promote an enabling environment for breastfeeding and to reach its target rate for continued breastfeeding for two-year-old’s – 30% by 2030.

Alive & Thrive applied its organizational advocacy strategy to support the passage of Decree 145, partnering with Members of Parliament, the Ministry of Health, the Office of Government, and international organizations including UN Women, UNICEF, the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance, GIZ, and CARE to build support for mothers’ breastfeeding rights. A&T also worked with the General Confederation of Labor, surveying female workers and business representatives to  provide a cost-benefit analysis of workplace lactation to the policy-drafting committee in a policy whitepaper.

An A&T-supported social media campaign brought more than 10,000 women to sign a petition in favor of workplace lactation. In 2021, as the decree was approved, A&T was asked to develop technical guidance by the Ministry of Health, and to develop an online monitoring system for workplace lactation implementation by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the General Confederation of Labor. A&T’s practical guidance to implement workplace lactation support programs can be found here.

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