The Center is proud to be a co-founder and host of the newly created International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights. Launched at the Women Deliver conference in late 2007, the Initiative is a civil society effort whose goal is to address maternal mortality as a human rights imperative. It combines advocacy, policy work, and other strategies to ensure that governments implement effective and equitable policies and programs to reduce maternal mortality. The Initiative also promotes understanding among human right organizations and bodies that maternal deaths can be as much a human rights violation as extrajudicial executions, torture, and arbitrary detentions.
"This Initiative is unique," said Paul Hunt, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. "Never before have such diverse organizations with different perspectives joined together to use human rights in the struggle against maternal mortality. The Initiative reflects the growing maturity of the health and human rights movement. It is an Initiative of the twenty-first century."
The Initiative's steering committee consists of the following organizations:
* Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
* Center for Justice and International Law
* Center for Reproductive Rights
* Equinet, the Regional Network on Equity in Health in Southern Africa
* Family Care International
* Health Equity Group (consisting of Women's Dignity, Youth Action Volunteers, and the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme)
* Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
* International Budget Project
* Kvinna till Kvinna
* Linangan ng Kababaihan (Likhaan)
* Physicians for Human Rights