Make Cafes, Pubs And Restaurants Provide Baby Changing Facilities, Campaigners Say
Lucy Dargahi with Annie and her NCT group
Cafes, pubs and restaurants should be legally forced to provide baby changing facilities, campaigners said today.
Parents from a west London NCT group are fighting for a change in the law after a recent experience in a cafe with their babies.
Lucy Dargahi said mums were forced to change their babies on the bathroom floor or in their prams because the Hammersmith venue did not have baby changing facilities.
When she asked why they did not provide facilities, Dargahi said the cafe owner told her it was “expensive and smelly”.
🧵1/ I wasn’t planning to come on Twitter while on mat leave, but…
Recently my friend had to change her baby on the 🚾🚽floor of a cafe.
The cafe told us they don’t have a changing station because it’s “expensive and smelly.”
So I’ve decided to campaign to change the law… pic.twitter.com/uENq8REe9I
— Lucy Dargahi (@LucyDargahi) March 27, 2023
The group now wants the government to amend the Public Health Act, so that private premises such as cafes, pubs and restaurants have to provide baby changing facilities by law.
They have dubbed it “Annie’s Law” after Dargahi’s nine-week old daughter who was with her that day.
Dargahi, who works as a public servant, told HuffPost UK: “We just thought this is crazy. This is a health issue. It’s a business issue. It’s the rights of the child issue.
“One of the mums started talking about an app that tells you the good spots for changing. I thought we shouldn’t have to have an app.
“This is a health and safety and a rights issue - that every baby should have a place to safely get changed.”
It shouldn’t be optional. This is about rights, access and dignity for people.Lucy Dargahi
Dargahi argued that every venue that has a customer toilet has space for a changing station.
“They are simple plastic fold-down things or you can get your own table made,” she said.
“Anywhere that has a toilet should have room for a changing station in theory, even if it’s a fold-up - they fold into the wall.
“Even if it’s a small space you should be able to have a fold-up changing station.
“It’s a no-brainer and needs to be in legislation because the optional thing clearly isn’t working.”
They have started writing to politicians and interest groups and already have the support of the British Toilet Association and think tank Centre.
:: For more information on the campaign visit their website or you can sign the petition here.
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