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Physical and mental health for young children
Physical and mental health for young children

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1 Legislation and policy: the different levels

As already stated, we all need to take responsibility for supporting, promoting and ultimately, playing our part in improving children’s health. This responsibility needs to be a global endeavour, because improving the health of babies and children requires the support of adults in every community in countries around the world. To help individuals to achieve this goal, babies and children’s health is addressed in legislation and policy. Legislation relates to the creation of laws that are made at national or global level. Policy can be described as a course of action that implements legislation. Figure 1 illustrates where legislation and policy exist, which can be described as global, national, within a community and within education settings.

Figure 1 Legislation and policy at different levels

The following sections explore some examples of legislation and policies that are aimed at improving children’s health within the different levels, starting with global initiatives.