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India Conference 2017

  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences Deonar Village Road Mumbai, MH, 400088 India (map)

Photos by Born in Bombay and Lydia Dahlen. Get the conference program here.

February 2-5, 2017
Mumbai, India
Hosted at Tata Institute for Social Sciences (TISS) University, Centre for Law and Society

Please direct questions regarding this event to

The Human Rights in Childbirth India Conference is part of a global discussion to address the provision of respectful, culturally sensitive, human rights based maternity care to optimise maternal and infant health outcomes.  Similar initiatives in Eastern Europe and Africa have resulted in high level engagement between consumers and stakeholders, including the launch of Break the Silence campaigns, consensus statements on practice and respectful care, and the implementation of mother-baby friendly initiatives in institutions.

Join The Lancet, WHO, UNFPA, White Ribbon Alliance, International Congress of Midwives, FOGSI, Centre for Reproductive Rights, Human Rights Law Network, Ariadne Labs, Fernandez Hospitals, Sitaram Bhartia Institute, professors, researchers and economists at this sterling line up of speakers and presenters.  Join us on the 4th day to collaborate and discuss the practical implementation of the ideas emerging from the event.

Become a sponsor

Our sponsors 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. Sponsorship and support is a key contributing factor to the accessibility and success of our conference.  We welcome sponsorship from all sectors.  We believe EVERYONE has a role to play in securing womens’ human rights in childbirth.

Click here for more information or write to us at 



Conference Description

The global community has been working for decades toward Millennium Development Goal 5, to reduce maternal mortality through the twin targets of a) ensuring access to skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care, and b) achieving universal access to reproductive health, with targets for the end of 2015. February 2017, Human Rights in Childbirth will host an international conference in India on the role of human rights in maternity care systems.

Day 1 - February 2, 2017

What are the current lived realities for pregnant women seeking maternity healthcare?  How have their experiences affected their health and wellbeing, their capacity to care for their children and their ability to function as healthy, contributing citizens?  What are women’s perceptions of the quality of the maternity healthcare they are receiving?  Are these women’s voices and experiences being heard and used to shape maternal health policy and practice?  How is childbirth situated in the bigger picture of women’s autonomy and ability to make free decisions about their bodies and sexuality? 

Panelists will report on the challenges women face with access to appropriate care, and the impact of limited access to care in general or care that falls short of MDG goals and standards in the region.

This first day is dedicated to the voices of women in the Global South.  We pay tribute to the stories and reports shared by women, for women.

Day 2 - February 3, 2017

Today’s sessions will address concerns with resource allocation, and the cost effectiveness of current trends such as insurance coverage, the provision of incentivised maternity healthcare systems and the predominance of the private sector in the region. Who pays, and who profits, in maternity care development?  How has it impacted on mothers and babies?

How are policy decisions being made for maternity care development, and what influences these policies?  What are recent budget trends and do they enable a rights-based approach to health services?  How are resources being allocated to advance maternity health care for the benefit of women and babies?  Is ensuring access to quality, respectful care a consideration in allocation? 

What are the financial implications of balancing medicine and midwifery in obstetric care? What would be the economic impact of a greater role for midwives and midwifery skills in the region?

Day 3 - February 4, 2017

It is time to look ahead.  We will discuss developments in the organization of maternity healthcare and the changes needed for improving quality of care for all women, rich and poor. What awareness exists of the human rights of women and their babies in the provision of maternity healthcare?  What accountability mechanisms exist to ensure the delivery of those rights?

Panelists will address ways to optimize the health of pregnant women and minimize the need for medical interventions, while also ensuring access to emergency treatment when needed.  We will finish the discussion by analysing the role of education on rights, entitlements, prenatal care and nutrition for both consumers and health care providers, and the provision of evidence based care that has the greatest impact on optimal pregnancy and birth.

Day 4 - February 5, 2017

We aim to harness the energy and excitement of the previous three days by collaborating with participants and giving them the opportunity to collectively discuss healthcare needs and brainstorm remedies to facilitate improvements within the Indian maternity systems. We will work together on developing and implementing creative solutions and build lasting partnerships for advocacy and change.    

Two stage discussion process:

First hour - stakeholders stay in professional groups (doctors, lawyers, midwives, educators etc) and discuss the questions below on next steps.  

Second hour - mixed stakeholder groups to prepare a consensus statement, from which organisers will review and prepare key elements for presentation and report to the Government of India. 

    1. What are the 5 priority areas that need immediate attention in maternity healthcare in the region?

    2. How will those identified priorities support and/or protect women’s human rights in pregnancy and childbirth?

    3. If you were in charge, what steps would you take to make these priority areas a reality?

Click here for a more detailed overview of the programme and speakers.


Our aim is to make this conference accessible to all. Both international and national registration costs have been set with such considerations in mind. Registration includes the cost of 4 meals per day (breakfast, morning and afternoon snacks, and lunch, and self service of coffee, tea and filtered water), access to a fully equipped convention centre and breakout spaces, and a closing themed dinner/function on the last evening.

A limited number of fee waivers are available on application. Please email to apply for a waiver detailing your location, reason for attending the conference and basis for requesting a waiver of fees.


TATA Institute of Social Sciences University (TISS) CONVENTION CENTRE, Mumbai Campus
Address (Map)
Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) - opposite Deonar Bus Depot
V.N. Purav MArg, Deonar, Mumbai 400088

Phone: 91-22-25525000


The following is a list of hotels we have inspected and which provide special rates to TISS conference attendees.

1). Three Star Hotels

a) Hotel Rajhans (Opp Chembur Railway Station, Chembur)

Tel: 67978090/3140, 25281055/0988
Fax:25284058 /25978090

b) Jewel of Chembur (Opp.Natraj Theatre, Chembur)

Tel: 91-22-25281544/2720 /09820889900

c) Hotel Orchid (Near Chembur Station)

Tel: 91-22- 25208855/1234

d) Hotel Plaza (Near Ambedkar Garden)

Tel: 25280014 / 25280290 / 25280274 / 25222122
Fax: 25298502

2) Four Star Hotel

The Fern Residency (Hemu Kalani Marg, Chembur East, Mumbai -400 71 (nearest landmark The Acres Club)

Starting rates 5000 (single occ) and 7000 (double occ).

The Fern Residency is not as nice as the Meluha The Fern (see below), but is just 10 minutes from the conference venue.  If you are choosing the Fern Residency, we recommend booking directly and online as it is much cheaper at the moment through or another online booking site.

3) Five Star Hotel

Meluha The Fern - An Ecotel Hotel (Central Avenue, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai – 400076)

Contact - Vinisha Patel: +91-22-2575 5541 / +91-22-6693 6943 

Please book directly with the hotel and use the special promo code to take advantage of the discounted rates that they have agreed to provide for conference attendees.

Promo Code: HRIC2017

Agreed rates starting at 8000 (single occ) and 90000 (double occ) plus tax for their standard room, includes breakfast and airport transfers.

Travel To & From Airport

We recommend that attendees either arrange for transport with your hotel booking, or use the prepaid taxis at the airport. Local Indian attendees can access Uber or Ola transport. Please do not accept an offer from someone who approaches you to offer a taxi service at the airport.


All foreign passport holders who have not been afforded POI (Persons of Indian Origin) status are required to hold visitor visas prior to entry into India. Please visit the following websites for further information:

  2. Indian Visa Online

Visa applications can take time so do not delay in making inquiries for travel.

Earlier Event: October 19
Europe Summit 2016