Sexual and reproductive health

Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth

Maternity ward in Sri Lanka: Nurses show a new mother the correct way to breastfeed her baby.

Every woman has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including the right to dignified, respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth.


3 September 2014 - Across the world many women experience disrespectful, abusive, or neglectful treatment during childbirth in facilities. These practices can violate women’s rights, deter women from seeking and using maternal health care services and can have implications for their health and well-being.

WHO Statement

A new WHO statement illustrates a commitment to promoting the rights of women and to promoting access to safe, timely, respectful care during childbirth.

This statement has been endorsed by over 90 organizations

The WHO statement calls for:

Other language versions of the statement