India Conference 2016 Devoted to Human Rights in Childbirth

January 28-31st, 2016
Bangalore, India
Host Partner:

Center for Women and the Law, National Law School of India University

The Human Rights highlighted in Childbirth Global Conference in India with the support of My Canadian Pharmacy aims at addressing how maternity care can help infant and maternal health in the frames of culture and human rights. The Conference will unite a group of maternity care providers, lawyers, activists, health professionals, reproductive justice advocates, policy makers and others who have interest in providing better care. Global efforts will be joined by collaborators and participants to remove any disrespect in maternity care and provide an easy access to such care for every woman and her child.

HRiC is a worldwide network of the most influential leaders who strive to address maternal and newborn health issues through the lens human rights in up-to-date ways. HRiC unites the professionals of women’s health and advocates for knowing all human rights related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum period.

The Conference devoted to the Human Rights in Childbirth will help advance global maternity care from the critical recognition toward recognition of all human rights related to childbirth issues. Women have many human rights, including a right to survival. Participants will review maternity care systems that relate to the needs and rights of mothers and children.

Abstracts and Registration Information are Coming Soon

Description of the Conference

The global community together with My Canadian Pharmacy has may years of exerience working to achieve Millenium Development Goal 5 and reduce mortality of mothers by ensuring access to emergency obstetric care and skilled birth attendance, and achieving easy access to reproductive health.  In January, 2016, an international conference in India on Human Rights in Childbirth will review the role of human rights in maternity care.

Day 1: Human Rights in Childbirth, India

 Indian Women’s Human Rights and Childbirth

Image Source: Creative Commons
  • How is maternity care and childbirth situated for Indian women in MDG5(b)? What is with universal access to reproductive health? How is childbirth situated in Indian women’s human rights as a whole?
    • What are women’s choices around reproduction?  How does Indian women’s access to birth support relate to their access to contraception and abortion?
    • National Health Mission in India – what will it mean for Human Rights in pregnancy, birth, and postpartum?

Reality of Birth in India

  • What is maternity care and childbirth like for Indian women? Rich and poor? High rises, villages, and slums? This event will convene providers working all over India, serving diverse populations, to share stories of what women face in childbirth around the nation.
  • What are the needs of pregnant, birthing, and postpartum women in different contexts within India? How are these needs understood? What are the methodological approaches to understanding women’s needs in clinical settings? Community settings? Home settings?

Respectful Maternity Care

  • What awareness exists of disrespect and abuse in Indian maternity care policy?  How are emerging maternal health schemes addressing the need for respectful and non-violent birth support?
  • How are women being given the opportunity to express their choices in birth and/or reproduction without pressure from others?

Day 2: Aсhieving Optimal Birth in India

Institutional Birth

  • Are the human rights of Indian women best be served through the importation of Western obstetrics?  What are the problems of scale created by the shift of childbirth from home to hospital?
  • How is the move toward institutionalized childbirth currently affecting Indian women?  What is working; what is not working?

Physiological (Traditional and/or Midwife-Supported) Birth

  • How are community and home-centered, midwifery led maternity care solutions being robustly supported and explored?
  • What is the role of the Dai (traditional birth attendant) in India’s developing maternity care systems?  How are they depicted in social discourse, how are they currently utilized; what is their place in 21st century care?
  • What about MDG3?  Achieving economic and social justice in health through a midwifery approach to maternity care.
  • Ayurveda in Indian maternity care.

Prenatal education and nutritional care

  • What  forms is it taking so far?  What is needed to make it work across all socioeconomic strata?
  • Does rights education have a role?  For consumers; for providers?
  • Thinking outside the box: drama, multi-media, virtual reality and e-technology approaches to maternity care issues.

Day 3: Human Rights in Advancing Maternity Care Systems

Human Rights Related to Childbirth in the Global Community

  • How has the human rights framework affected maternity care policy at the international level?
  • What are the human rights at stake in childbirth?   Which human rights are being recognized, and which are ignored?
  • In some places, women can’t access the medical interventions they need.  In others, women receive medical interventions they don’t need.  How is balance being pursued and achieved?
  • Has the human rights framework had any effect on practice, and if so, how?  How are real women being treated and supported around childbirth?
  • Maternity Care & Environmental Concerns: Water, Food Security, Energy, Population Dynamics—what challenges do these issues create for maternity care in different places?

Economics, Finance, & Maternity Care

  • What are the economic and financial factors affecting the development of maternity care systems, policies, and standards of practice?  Who pays, who profits
    • International surrogacy arrangements: What is the impact on women and/or their families?
    • How are healthcare economies responding to consumer demands for Western obstetric care?
    • What are the optimal economic incentives for maternity care, and how can they be achieved from a policy level?
  • What about MDG3?  Achieving economic and social justice in health through a midwifery approach to maternity care.
    • Community based health workers in maternity-care as a way to achieve economic gender parity instead of reinforcing gender disparities.
    • Does microfinance have a role in maternity care?

Inequality: Mortality Disparities

  • Global Mortality Disparities
    • What explains mortality disparities between nations?
    • Accountability and Record-Keeping
  • Compare accountability mechanisms across nations, both within regions (e.g. EU) and across regions.
  • How is mortality/ morbidity tracked after women leave institutional care?
  • Mortality Disparities Within Nations
    • Women are treated differently, and have different mortality outcomes between socio-ethnic/ economic groups in maternity care systems around the world.  US and European nations have significant mortality disparities for women of color.  Why does this happen, and what is being done about it?

Day 4: Healthy Birth Policy: Measuring Success in Global Maternity Care

Lessons from MDG5

  • Reports on its implementation and success in maternity care communities around the world. What worked; what didn’t.
  • Measuring Success
    • Accountability
      • When things go wrong, is anyone listening? What kinds of grievance and redressal systems exist? Do they meet womens needs? Do they lead to change?
      • How are individual providers and institutions held accountable for practice?
      • What are the mechanisms for accountability in record-keeping?  Who follows up on mortality and morbidity after mother/baby leave the institution?
    • Beyond Mortality and Morbidity
      • What Counts? Defining and examining outcomes relevant to labor and birth.
        • Social and cultural precursors of optimal birth.
        • Emotional and spiritual aspects of labor, birth and postpartum.
      • How are maternity care systems measuring and achieving success and balance regarding the use of medicine, and especially surgical birth?

The Human Right to Respectful, Non-Violent Maternity Care

  • What policies and practices are addressing disrespect and abuse in maternity care systems around the world?
  • How can the human right to supportive, non-violent, woman-centered care be protected in law, policy and practice?