Sexual and reproductive health

Prevention and elimination of disrespect and abuse during childbirth

A young couple with their newborn in the maternity ward of a state health facility, South Africa
Marilyn Keegan/Photoshare.

Greater support from governments and development partners for research and action

Greater support is needed for further research on defining and measuring disrespect and abuse in public and private facilities worldwide, and to better understand its impact on women’s health experiences and choices. Evidence on the effectiveness and implementation of interventions in different contexts is required to provide the necessary technical guidance to governments and health-care service providers

What others are doing

Some governments and development partners have already initiated activities on reducing disrespectful practices and promoting respectful care during childbirth.


The links below are provided for information only. WHO does not necessarily endorse the views, positions or opinions expressed by the listed organizations and documents. WHO does not accept responsibility for the validity or accuracy of these materials.

Examples of laws on "obstetric violence" from Argentina, Porto Rico and Venezuela

Are you working on or aware of ongoing activities in the areas of respectful and disrespectful care during childbirth? Let us know at vogeljo@who.int