The Second Human Rights Action Plan which was endorsed on Tuesday decrees that governmental institution set up work-place accommodations for nursing mothers.
At its regular session, the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) approved the Second National Human Rights Action Plan that was tabled for it by the Legal, Justice and Administrative Affairs Standing Committee.
The action plan incorporated directions which will help carry out human rights-centered development activities and strengthen human rights institutions. It also allows the government to prepare new legal frameworks and amend exiting laws to ensure constitutionally-guaranteed human rights.
Among several issues the action plan incorporates is a stipulation that governmental institution had to allocate space and conducive atmosphere for nursing mothers.
Petros Woldeselassie, chairman of the committee, briefed MPs on the newly included and amended human rights laws that are believed to ensure the human and democratic rights of the people.
As part of human rights, this bill includes a provision that state institutions ensure access for breast-feeding employees.
Commending the move to include the provision, MPs asked why such benefits were not extended to employees of private organizations as well.
Responding the question, Petros said, “It is a matter of time for private institution to follow suit and implement this provision. But for the time being, it is the government that is taking the first step.”
According to the chairman, the new action plan had given emphasis to the provision of awareness-raising training for traffic police and drivers to prevent traffic accidents as well as the rights of women to get child-care facilities at the work place.
Moreover, the new action plan will help prepare a legal framework and put in place a system that allows paying compensation for an individual who was arrested with false evidence, he indicated.
The action plan laid down directives for the establishment of temporary rehabilitation centers that would provide support for victims of domestic violence at regional, state and municipal levels.
He also responded to various questions raised by MPs regarding adult education and rights of persons with disabilities.
He further said that the plan was important to fill the gaps and limitations observed during the implementation of the First Human Rights Action Plan.
The implementation of the second action plan will run until 2020.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends infants should be exclusively breast-fed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal health and development, followed by complementary foods while continuing breast-feeding for up to two years or beyond. However, currently fewer than 40 percent of infants under six months of age are exclusively breast-fed worldwide.
Public health awareness events such as World Breastfeeding Week, as well as training of health professionals and planning, aim to increase this number.