Rights and policy perspectives

Rachel Hammonds started the session with a keynote presentation in which she challenged the audience to reflect on the question “Is reproductive health a human right or a commodity?”. She demonstrated that over the past decades, reproductive health has been increasingly considered as a universal human right issue and that the human rights framework allows the international community to hold leaders accountable when they do not meet their obligations. In her closing, she underscored the added value of a multidisciplinary approach in enhancing accountability.

The second speaker, Alina Marlene Schmitz, reflected on the potential conflicts between global policies on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and local consequences. Based on a case study of Oaxaca, Mexico, she illustrated the importance of taking local realities into consideration when translating global SRHR policies to actions at local level.

Next, Clara Burbano-Herrera explored through her work whether the mechanism of provisional measures adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights could be an appropriate legal tool to seek the protection of expectant mothers who face obstacles in obtaining the medical services that they need. Her findings suggested that the situation of certain expectant mothers in Kenya meets the two necessary conditions to grant provisional measures under the African human rights system; i.e., that the situation is urgent and that the measures are necessary to prevent irreparable damage.

Finally, Karen Vanderlinden examined how European welfare regimes and certain social policies influence and potentially explain breastfeeding initiation (BFI) and duration (BFD). She showed that cross-national differences in infant feeding are reflected in the welfare regimes of a set of 24 European countries but that there are also important contextual and social policy dimensions surrounding the issue of infant feeding that require further study.



Presentation:  Advancing Reproductive Health and Rights through International Human Rights





Presentation on: Examining High Rates of Preventable Maternal Mortality in Kenya: Could Provisional Measures be an Effective Tool to Guarantee Safe Pregnancy?