Reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and human rights: A toolbox for examining laws, regulations and policies

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Laws, policies and regulations have a profound impact on an individual’s ability to have access to the continuum of care in relation to RMNCH. Laws, policies and regulations can both facilitate or obstruct an individual’s access to RMNCH programmes, services and information. In many countries, laws, regulations and policies are not always consistent with human rights standards and may represent a barrier for people achieving the highest attainable standard of health.

This WHO RMNCH Toolbox (Toolbox) enables countries to use a human rights framework to identify those barriers and make proposals to overcome or reduce them. In addition, using the Tool will help countries to:

  • recognize national human rights obligations related to RMNCH;
  • review and document efforts by governments to establish legal and policy frameworks that support RMNCH;
  • identify the most vulnerable groups and existing government efforts to address their needs;
  • engage actors from the health sector and non-health sectors to help eliminate legal, policy and regulatory barriers to RMNCH.

Read the toolbox »


Authors: Jane Cottingham, Estzer Kismödi, Sofia Gruskin (Overall development and coordination)
Published By: World Health Organization
Year: 2014
Publication Link:

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