Civil Society Welcomes Landmark Resolution on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Human Rights at the Human Rights Council

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the Sexual Rights Initiative, the Global Justice Center, Arrow, Rutgers, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education, Plan International, the Association for Women’s Rights in Development, the Federation for Women and Family Planning, Akahatá and the White Ribbon Alliance applaud the significant progress on the rights of women and girls and on sexual and reproductive health and rights at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC).

A comprehensive resolution on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights in humanitarian settings (A/HRC/RES/39/13), led by New Zealand, Colombia, Burkina Faso and Estonia, was adopted by consensus on Thursday September 27, 2018. This initiative is part of a long-term push by States, civil society organizations (CSOs) and U.N. agencies to address the human rights violations contributing to preventable maternal mortality and morbidity.

This resolution focuses on addressing the disproportionally high maternal mortality and morbidity rates (MMMRs) affecting women and girls in humanitarian settings, addressing pre-existing patterns and structures of discrimination and inequalities such as patriarchal values and norms, that are exacerbated by conflict and disasters and that contribute to the negative pregnancy related outcomes for women and girls in these situations. The resolution also focuses on sexual and reproductive rights violations faced by women and girls in humanitarian settings and the impact of lack of access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including safe abortion, on affected women and girls.