HRC33 Statement on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights

Published on September 16, 2016

Thank you Mr President.

This statement is delivered on behalf of the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, and the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights.

We welcome the follow up report by the OHCHR on the technical guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach to the implementations of policies and programmes to reduce preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

Despite massive reductions in maternal mortality rates over the last two decades and increased implementation of the technical guidance, the full realisation and enjoyment of women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health rights remains a distant goal for millions. In 2015 alone, there have been 303,000[1] pregnancy related deaths of women and girls, which were largely preventable, with millions more women and girls suffering serious and sometimes lifelong injuries. Particularly affected by these higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity are adolescents, women and girls in conflict and humanitarian situations, women and girls with disabilities and other marginalized women and girls.

We therefore call on this Council to reaffirm the centrality of human rights to preventing maternal mortality and morbidity and reinforce linkages between international and regional processes, including the 2030 Agenda and the Global Strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health.

Thank you Mr President



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