The Human Rights in Childbirth Global Conference in India will be an event that addresses how maternity care can optimize maternal and infant health outcomes in a respectful, culturally sensitive, human rights framework. The Conference will convene a vibrant and interdisciplinary group of maternity care providers, public health professionals, lawyers, activists, policy makers and reproductive justice advocates and others interested in advancing respectful and evidence-based care. Collaborators and participants will join the front edge of global efforts to eliminate disrespect and abuse in maternity care and ensure non-discriminatory access to care for every woman and baby.
On May 26th, HRiC will partner with Black Women Birthing Justice, Mamas of Color Rising, and the Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health to host the 2nd Human Rights in Childbirth: US Summit. This event will convene grassroots activists, legal advocates, and healthcare providers working across the United States to ensure that the human rights of every birthing person are respected and upheld in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Attendees will have the unprecedented opportunity to contribute to the first Human Rights in Childbirth U.S. Consensus Statement, a document that will clearly state the human rights violations currently occurring in U.S. maternity care as well as laying a roadmap toward community-based, woman-centered, collaborative care that optimizes healthy outcomes within a respectful, human rights framework.
On July 30-31, 2015, the Human Rights in Childbirth Africa Summit convened speakers from a range of disciplines engaged with the human rights of birthing women, including lawyers, doctors, midwives, community health workers, researchers, and journalists. Speakers described evidence and advocacy efforts in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, and pertained to issues facing maternity care systems throughout Africa.
Over the two days of the Summit, attendees broke out into discussion groups, first with colleagues from their field, and then in multi-disciplinary groups. The discussions focused on situating the experiences of maternity care reported by African women in a human rights framework, and envisioning what African maternity care systems will look like when they put the rights and needs of women and communities at the center of policy and practice. In open plenary discussion, Summit attendees then distilled the issues and principles that arose in the discussion groups into a Consensus Statement that expressed the shared concerns, values, and solutions of the assembly.
On the 16th and 17th of April, 2015, RODA had the immense pleasure of co-hosting the Human Rights in Childbirth Eastern Europe Conference. Human Rights in Childbirth is an international NGO based in The Hague that researches and promotes the recognition of fundamental human rights in maternity care systems and practices.
In November 2013, HRiC convened consumers, birth professionals, and lawyers in Blankenberg, Belgium, from countries across Europe, who are engaged in lawsuits that evoke the 2010 case of Ternovszky v. Hungary. Conference participants worked toward the creation of a road map for political action capable of making human rights a reality for birthing women everywhere.
Our convergence at The Hague in the Netherlands to discuss women’s rights in childbirth in 2012 marked a pivotal moment in the formation of HRiC. Consumers, activists, health care providers and internationally acclaimed speakers all joined together around the common goal of increasing awareness of and mobilizing for change in the birthing system. A large part of the film, “Freedom for Birth” centered around the conference, and the joint effort moved the message of HRiC to all corners of the globe. Please read the articles below, for a glimpse into the conference at The Hague.