The Center for Reproductive Rights works with human rights defenders and civil society organizations across the region to address the entrenched discrimination and inequalities faced by marginalized groups in Europe in the sphere of sexual and reproductive health and rights. In particular, we are supporting efforts to effectively address discrimination against Roma women and undocumented migrant women in maternal health settings.
Roma women across Europe face some of the most egregious reproductive rights violations and are subjected to systemic intersectional discrimination in reproductive health settings in several European countries. We are working to support Roma women activists and human rights defenders in their efforts to address and confront this discrimination and mistreatment.
Recently, in collaboration with Poradňa pre občianske a ľudské práva, we documented how Roma women in Slovakia experience systemic and persistent discrimination in reproductive health care settings, including ethnic segregation and racial harassment and abuse. Our joint report, Vakeras Zorales – Speaking Out, captures the individual experiences of a number of Roma women in Slovakia and outlines a series of urgent recommendations for decision makers.
Undocumented migrant women
Undocumented migrant women living in Europe face considerable barriers in access to reproductive health care and many European countries maintain discriminatory legal and policy restrictions that deny them equal access to affordable maternal health care throughout pregnancy and childbirth. When pregnant women are unable to access affordable good quality antenatal care and skilled care during childbirth, public health evidence shows that they face increased risks of poor maternal health outcomes, obstetric emergency and pregnancy-related complications.
In our recent report, Perilous Pregnancies: Barriers in Access to Affordable Maternal Health Care for Undocumented Migrant Women in the EU European Union, we describe the legal and policy barriers that remain in place in several EU member states and outline how these laws and policies contravene public health guidelines, contradict regional best practices and violate international human rights law and standards.