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Eastern Europe 2015

  • Hotel Dubrovnik 1 Gajeva ulica Zagreb, City of Zagreb, 10000 Croatia (map)


We are happy to announce completion of our Eastern Europe Conference Papers!

Human Rights in Childbirth Eastern Europe

Zagreb, Croatia - 16-17 April 2015

Hotel Dubrovnik, 1 Ljudevita Gaja Street, Zagreb

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.

HRiC has held three international conferences, two in Europe and one in the United States, convening lawyers and activists along with doctors, midwives, social scientists, bioethicists and other concerned people for the discussion of the human rights at stake for women and newborns. These conferences allowed the sharing of information about the efforts and actions underway in different places toward the development of evidence-based and respectful maternity care.

Human Rights in Childbirth partnered with the Croatian consumer advocacy organization RODA  in Zagreb.


If you would like to be a conference sponsor, please contact Ms. Daniela Drandic,


The conference venue is Hotel Dubrovnik, which is located at 1LjudevitaGajaStreet, Zagreb. The venue is located in the very centre of Zagreb, just off of Ban Josip Jelačić Square.

More information is available at

How to get to the venue

From within Zagreb

Hotel Dubrovnik is located in the very centre of Zagreb and is easily accessible from different parts of the city. The Hotel is approximately 0.5 km from Zagreb Central Train Station, 1 km from the main Bus Station, 5.5 km from Zagreb Fair and 18 km from Zagreb Airport.

Zagreb is very well connected by public transport – trams and buses. A 90-minute tram or bus ticket costs 10 HRK (1.20 EUR) and can be bought at a newsagents’ kiosk or from the driver in the first car. The tram station at Ban Jelačić Square is only a couple of minutes’ walk from the Hotel. There are a few taxi companies in Zagreb with very reasonable prices.

By Plane

The easiest way to get from Zagreb Airport to the Hotel is by taxi, which you can order when making a hotel reservation. The price is 150 HRK which is significantly cheaper than if you take a cab outside the airport.

Croatia Airlines buses make transfers from the Airport to the Main Bus Station every 30 minutes (approx. 30 minute bus ride, 30 HRK / 4 EUR).  You can find more information on the website of Zagreb Airport Shuttle.  (

From the Bus Station you can take tram no. 6 in the direction of Črnomerec.  The ride to Ban Jelačić Square is approximately ten minutes.

By Bus

Getting to the Hotel from the main Bus Station is easiest by tram Nr.6 in the direction of Črnomerec. The ride to Ban Jelačić Square is approximately ten minutes.You can find the schedule of arrivals and departures of domestic and international buses on the website of the Main Bus Station.

By Train

You can get from Zagreb Central Station to Hotel Dubrovnik easily with tram No. 6, in the direction of Črnomerec, or tram No. 13, direction Žitnjak. Hotel Dubrovnik is just two stops away from Zagreb Central Station. Croatian Railway website ( provides more information about schedules for domestic and international travel.

By Car

Coming from:

  • Rijeka, Split, Karlovac:Highway A1-3 –Jadranska Avenue – follow signs for Zagreb Centre.
  • Hungary, Varaždin:Highway A3, follow signs for Zagreb Centre.
  • Belgrade, Sarajevo, SlavonskiBrod:Highway A4 –Slavonska Avenue – follow signs for Zagreb Centre.
  • Graz, Maribor, Krapina:Highway A1, follow signs for Zagreb West and then Zagreb Centre.


If you are travelling by car, Hotel Dubrovnik has 24-hour guarded parking in Praška Street, approximately 100m from the Hotel. The price of a parking space is 100,00HRK (approx. 15 EUR). You need to reserve a parking space with the hotel in advance.

Other parking garages in the vicinity of Hotel Dubrovnik are:

Tuškanec Public Garage (JavnagaražaTuškanec), 40 HRK per day (approx. 6 EUR)

Parking Ilica 45, check details by phone 01 48 77 555.

Street parking is unfortunately limited to two hours in the first parking zone. If you like you can park on the street and Zagreb Parking will charge you for a day card (fine) in the amount of 100 HRK (approx. 15 EUR).

Local food & dining


The program can be downloaded here and is subject to change. If you have any questions about the program or would like to participate please email

Zagreb, Croatia (April 16-17 2015)

Day 1

I. Introductions

II. Keynote Speech - Stefánia Kapronczay, Executive Director, Hungarian Civil Liberties Union

III. Human Rights in Childbirth

Women do not lose their human rights when they become pregnant and give birth. In the last few years  international organizations have started to acknowledge the whole range of human rights at stake in childbirth, including the rights to autonomy, privacy, and physical integrity. The World Health Organization has issued a statement against the abuse and disrespect that women face in childbirth. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics and the International Confederation of Midwives recognize the human rights violations that women face in childbirth and announced the mother and baby-friendly hospital initiative.

  • Rajat Khosla, Human Rights Advisor, Department of Reproductive Health, World Health Organization
  • Dr Alison McFadden, Senior Research Fellow, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Dundee, Scotland (Member of Executive Group, Lancet Series on Midwifery)
  • Dr. Claudia Hanson, Co-chair, Committee on Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health, International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics

IV. Research and Advocacy Efforts to Secure Women's Rights in Childbirth

From “breaking the silence” in Bulgaria and Croatia to monitoring and advocacy in Slovakia, activists and researchers have been busy bringing the violations that women face in childbirth to the forefront.  European-wide grass-roots activism was indispensable in encouraging women to reveal the abuse they experienced in childbirth. Researchers started using a whole-systems perspective, incorporating women's views and experiences relating to maternity care across Europe.

  • Daniela Drandic, RODA, Croatia
  • Miglena Delcheva, Rodilnitza, Bulgaria
  • Katharina Hartmann, Human Rights in Childbirth, Germany
  • Zuzana Krišková, Women's Circles, Slovakia
  • Dr. Nicholas Rubashkin, Visiting Fulbright Researcher, Semmelweis University, Hungary
  • Janka Debreceniova, Lawyer, Citizen, Democracy and Accountability, Slovakia
  • Zalka Drglin, PhD, researcher, Natural Beginnings Society, Slovenia
  • Natalie Sedlická, midwife, Jak Jinak, Czech Republic

V. Challenges

There are a number of challenges that need to be addressed before women can enjoy the full range of human rights in childbirth. Informal payments for maternity care services pose a serious problem both for consumers and providers. The midwifery model of care is still widely unrecognized in countries in the region and is often pitted against the medical model of care. C-sections are on the rise and we need to understand better what are the driving forces behind this increase. There is very little research and advocacy efforts regarding violations experienced by vulnerable groups, including minority women.

  • Dr. Nicholas Rubashkin, Visiting Fulbright Researcher, Semmelweis University, Hungary
  • Dr. Diana Dweik, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Szeged, and Semmelweis University, Hungary
  • Erica Schmidt, Birth House Association, Hungary
  • Fleur Van Leeuwen, Assist. Professor Human Rights, Koç University, Turkey
  • Zeynep Oya Usal Kanzler, Assistant Professor Human Rights, Koç University Law School, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Mary Zwart, midwife, Netherlands and Portugal
  • Volha Kusmierska, midwife, Belarus

VI. Communication Strategies to Advocate for Women's Rights in Childbirth

How do we engage successfully the media in cases of  violations of women’s rights in childbirth? Issues surrounding women’s abuse and disrespect in hospitals are  often met with disbelief and denial. The violence women experience in childbirth is accepted and normalized by society as a whole. What are successful strategies to overcome these challenges and tell women’s stories in a compelling way?

  • Nick Thorpe, BBC Journalist, Central Europe
  • TBC

VII. Finding Funding - Sharing Success Stories

Finding funding for our work is vital. Established organizations from the region working on women’s rights in childbirth will share their successes and challenges in movement-building and finding funding for advocacy work.

  • Daniela Drandic, RODA, Croatia
  • Erika Schmidt, Birth House Association, Hungary

Day 2

VIII. Utilizing Local, Regional and International Mechanisms to Advocate for Accountability for Violations of Women's Rights in Childbirth

1. Local accountability mechanisms

Are  there local accountability mechanisms for violations in rights in childbirth? What are those mechanisms, how can women become part of them and demand accountability? Attorneys from the Center for Reproductive Rights will talk about human rights fact-finding missions and their potential to bring meaningful change on a national level. Fact-finding was successfully used to bring national and international attention to the forced sterilization of Roma women in Slovakia.

  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Marie-Clare Balaam, research assistant, Midwifery Department, University of Central Lancashire, UK (Babies Born Better Survey Steering Committee)
  • Dr. Milan Stanojevic, UNICEF, Croatia
  • Jette Aaroe Clausen, senior lecturer in Midwifery, Metropolitan University College, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Adriana Lamačková, Senior Legal Adviser for Europe, Center for Reproductive Rights

2. Council of Europe - European Court of Human Rights

Overview of decisions at the European Court of Human Rights that pertain to women’s rights in childbirth  - how has the European Court of Human Rights interpreted women’s rights in childbirth? Attorneys will discuss recent decisions including the  refusal of the court to acknowledge the right of women in the Czech Republic to have a midwife present at home births and the subsequent referral to the Grand Chamber in the Dubska case.

  • Daniela Furtunova, Attorney, Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
  • Zuzana Candigliota, Lawyer, Liga lidských práv, Czech Republic

3. UN Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)

How does the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination protect the rights of women in childbirth? How can advocates utilize CEDAW’s review mechanism to bring international attention to local violations against women in childbirth? How can individuals and groups of individuals bring individual complaints to the CEDAW Committee?

  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Electra Koutra, Attorney, Hellenic Action for Human Rights, Greece



The registration form can be found here.


After you register, your payment can be made here.

Conference Fees

- One day - 340 HRK (approx. 45 EUR) per person

- Both days - 490 HRK (approx. 65 EUR) per one person

Lunch, transportation and accommodations are not included in the conference fees.

Live streaming is confirmed. Streaming will be available for 340 HRK (approx. 45 EUR) for both conference days. The conference will be available to watch on demand for 30 days after the event.


Once you complete the registration form, please pay the conference fees.

Payments can be made by credit card or bank transfer.

Payments by credit card

Credit card payments will be available by 1 March 2015. Please complete the registration form and payment.

As per Croatian tax laws, your credit card will be charged in Croatian Kunas, and your credit card company will convert this into your local currency.

Payments by bank transfer

When paying conference fees by bank transfer from outside Croatia, please pay in euros and use the following account information:

IBAN: HR1624840081100197341, SWIFT: RZBHHR2X

Bank address: Raiffeisebank Austria d.d., Petrinjska 59, Zagreb, Croatia

Account owner: RODA, Caniceva 14, 10000 Zagreb, Hrvatska

Payment description: KONF+ the participant's full name

Official Invoices

If you require an official invoice made out to an institution, please make sure to note this in your registration form along with all the information that needs to be on the invoice. For more information on official invoices contact

Important - Unacceptable Payments

RODA does not accept any conference fees paid by companies who do not adhere to the International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. Any payments received will be returned and the registration will be voided.


Interpretation services will be provided from English to Croatian and vice-versa.

If you will need interpretation headphones, please note this in your registration form so that we have an adequate number of headphones available. If you do not note this in your registration form , we cannot guarantee that headphones will be available.

Continuing Education Credits

If you require extra information for continuing education credits for your country / organisation, please contact

Registration Deadline

As space is restricted, we will be accepting registrations until the conference is sold out or until 10 April 2015, whichever is sooner. If you would like to register after this date, you will need to call RODA's office to check before completing the registration form  (Ms. Iva Gorec Stern, 00385 1 6177 500).

Registration fees can be refunded up until 5 April 2015. After this date we will not be able to offer refunds.

Please see and for more information on fees, terms and conditions. If you have any questions please contact Ms. Daniela Drandic,

Accommodations in Zagreb

There are many types of accommodations available in Zagreb, including hotels and private accommodations that fit all budgets.

You can find accommodations (hotels, hostels, private accommodations) on the following websites:

Some specialized website for private accommodations include:


Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3

Stream 4

Stream 5

Stream 6

Stream 7

Presentation Files

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Later Event: July 30
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