Protecting human rights in childbirth

Holding it all together – human rights and disadvantage

Birthrights and Birth Companions have published a joint report – Holding it all together: Understanding how far the human rights of women facing disadvantage are respected during pregnancy, birth and postnatal care. The report marks a key milestone in a two-year joint research project funded by Trust for London, to help establish greater understanding of … Read more

Birthrights and partners submit evidence to the UN

Last week Birthrights joined with the White Ribbon Alliance, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and Make Birth Better, to submit evidence to the UN Special Rapporteur, about how pregnant women are treated in the UK. The UN Special Rapporteur, Ms. Dubravka Šimonović has identified the issue of mistreatment and violence against women during reproductive … Read more

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

Birthrights, the UK’s human rights in childbirth charity, and Leigh Day, a law firm specialising in clinical negligence and human rights, have announced a new partnership over three years, building on previous joint work on specific projects. The new agreement includes a package of corporate financial support, fundraising activity, pro bono and in-kind support, and … Read more

Kirkup Report: Inhuman healthcare

The Kirkup Report was published this week. It catalogues the failings in the maternity unit at Morecambe Bay between 2004-2013, when clinical errors contributed to the deaths of 3 mothers and 16 babies. As the Report acknowledges, healthcare professionals can be expected to make mistakes, but in Morecambe Bay, like Mid-Staffordshire and Queen’s Hospital Romford … Read more

Dubska v Czech Republic: A blow to women's reproductive rights in Europe

The European Court of Human Rights gave judgment in Dubská v Czech Republic last week. The Court found that Czech legislation prohibiting midwives attendance at home births did not interfere with women’s right to private life under Article 8 of the European Convention. The decision came as a surprise to maternity professionals and campaigners across … Read more

Midwives to ask women about FGM

Interesting story yesterday about plans for midwives to ask routine questions about female genital mutilation in ante-natal appointments. Generally women will not have vaginal examinations during their pregnancies, so unless the question is asked (and answered honestly) it’s impossible to know whether they have suffered FGM until they are examined during or after childbirth. It’s … Read more