Protecting human rights in childbirth

Birthrights and Irwin Mitchell announce three-year partnership to promote women’s human rights in childbirth

Birthrights, the UK’s human rights in childbirth charity, and Irwin Mitchell, one of the largest law firms in the UK, have announced a new partnership over three years. The new agreement includes a package of corporate funding, pro bono advice, practical in-kind help with publications and events, and support for Birthrights’ projects, research and campaigns, to achieve the following goals: 

“We believe that too many women in the UK experience maternity care that does not respect their basic rights to autonomy, dignity and safety. Our partnership will help us raise the profile of these issues, promote good practice in maternity care to prevent birth injury and trauma, and enable Birthrights to reach and support even more women.”

In 2018-19, Birthrights responded to over 200 email requests from women and their online factsheets were visited over 8,600 times. Qualitative feedback shows women and families highly value this information, support and individual advocacy. The partnership with Irwin Mitchell will help Birthrights to reach even more women and equip them to secure their rights in pregnancy and childbirth.

Chief Executive of Birthrights, Amy Gibbs, said: 

“We are very grateful to Irwin Mitchell for their support, underpinned by our shared agenda to promote choice, dignity and safety to prevent birth injury and trauma. As a small charity, this financial commitment over three years is invaluable. Our new partnership will help us invest in our core activities and put us on a firmer footing for the future. We are particularly excited to grow the reach of our resources for women and explore collaboration on future research, such as on mental capacity.”

Alison Eddy, a specialist medical negligence partner at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

“I’m delighted that we have been able to partner with Birthrights, supporting the vital work they do in supporting women to make informed choices about their birth options as well as contributing to research and policy development in order to improve birth experience for all women.” 

About the partners

Birthrights is the UK’s only organisation dedicated to improving women’s experience of pregnancy and childbirth by promoting respect for human rights. We believe that all women are entitled to respectful maternity care that protects their fundamental rights to dignity, autonomy, privacy and equality. We provide advice to women on their rights, train healthcare professionals to deliver rights-respecting care, and campaign to change maternity policy, systems and practice.

Birthrights seeks financial and other kinds of support only for work we believe will further our mission to promote and protect the human rights of women during pregnancy and childbirth. Our partners do not influence or direct our policy positions on human rights and maternity care.

Irwin Mitchell provides legal and financial services to businesses and individuals operating from 15 locations across the UK. The firm is ranked as a market-leading legal services firm in the independent Legal 500 and Chambers UK guides to UK law with over 250 lawyers personally recommended.

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