Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December

The maternity care that women receive intersects with her human rights to physical integrity, self-determination, privacy, family life, and spiritual freedom.

In applying and advancing scientific knowledge, medical practice and associated technologies; human vulnerability should be taken into account. Individuals and groups with special vulnerability should be protected and the personal integrity of such individuals respected.  Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights

During maternity women are most vulnerable.  Having a baby is one of the most vulnerable, if not the most vulnerable periods, of any woman’s life.  Maternity care above all, must do no harm and above all, do good by respecting a woman’s human rights.  We need to ensure that all women receive responsive, sensitive maternity care systems that cater for her individual situation and respect her human rights.

The Respectful Maternity Care Charter: the Universal Rights of Childbearing Women provides the platform for this. Adopting it for all Australian women would be a good starting point to ensuring safety and dignity in maternity care, with improved health outcomes for our community.