Int’l J. Gynecology & Obstetrics   |  February 8, 2013

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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.

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