Applying Human Rights to Maternal Health: UN Technical Guidance on Rights-Based Approaches

Congratulations to Professor Alicia Ely Yamin,  Director of the Program on Health Rights of Women and Children at the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University, whose useful article was recently published in the Ethical and Legal Issues section of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics:

Applying Human Rights to Maternal Health: UN Technical Guidance on Rights-Based Approaches

Abstract:  In the last few years there have been several critical milestones in acknowledging the centrality of human rights to sustainably addressing the scourge of maternal death and morbidity around the world, including from the United Nations Human Rights Council. In 2012, the Council adopted a resolution welcoming a Technical Guidance on rights-based approaches to maternal mortality and morbidity, and calling for a report on its implementation in 2 years. The present paper provides an overview of the contents and significance of the Guidance. It reviews how the Guidance can assist policymakers in improving women’s health and their enjoyment of rights by setting out the implications of adopting a human rights-based approach at each step of the policy cycle, from planning and budgeting, to ensuring implementation, to monitoring and evaluation, to fostering accountability mechanisms. The Guidance should also prove useful to clinicians in understanding rights frameworks as applied to maternal health.

Keywords: Accountability, Health policy, Human rights, Maternal health, Maternal mortality and morbidity, Sexual and reproductive health, UN Technical guidance – maternal health

The entire paper can be downloaded here. 

The UN’s Technical Guidance document, discussed in this article, is online in six languages through this webpage, at A/HRC/21/22.

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