Protecting human rights in childbirth

Registered Charity Number 1151152

Face-to-face, Online, Full-day and Half-day

CORE – Full-day, Half-day with feedback

Our CORE training is available to frontline healthcare professionals working in maternity care. If you are responsible for learning and development at your Trust or hospital, please get in touch at training@birthrights.org.uk to ask about booking training.  

What our core training covers:

  • An introduction to human rights and where they come from (primarily the European Convention on Human Rights/Human Rights Act 1998).  
  • An exploration of key common law judgements relevant to maternity care including Montgomery vs Lanarkshire.  
  • Consideration of the implications of human rights law and common law cases for maternity care, and what legal obligations doctors and midwives have as NHS employees.
  • Practical discussion of case studies and common scenarios in small groups, e.g. consent for induction, maternal request caesarean, request to give birth in a birth centre which does not meet guidelines.



  • To ensure all participants understand where human rights come from and how they apply to maternity care.
  • To ensure all participants understand the implications of Montgomery v Lanarkshire, and other legal cases that are relevant to consent and informed choice.
  • To ensure all participants have the opportunity to put this understanding into practice by working in small groups to looking at real life cases with women and birthing people.

Full-day (in addition to half-day’s objectives):

  • To equip participants to have choice conversations with women and birthing people that facilitate providing the information they need, give professional recommendations and explore alternative options – in order to achieve informed consent.
  • To equip participants to identify and sensitively challenge behaviour by colleagues that is disrespectful or unsafe.
  • To reflect on appropriate informal and formal escalation routes if needed to protect women and birthing people’s rights and safety.
  • To provide a safe space for healthcare professionals to develop their communication practice.

Training for Doulas, Birthworkers and Peer Supporters

Does your organisation support women and birthing people? Do you want to empower your staff and volunteers in how they can use the law to advocate for safer care for their service users? Our module “Human Rights in Maternity Care: helping others navigate the system” is a half-day training day that can be delivered online or in person to support your organisation to advocate for women and birthing people.   



  • For all participants to understand where human rights come from and how they apply to maternity care.  
  • For all participants to feel confident in identifying actions they can take to help a client address a human rights breach.  
  • For all participants to feel empowered to support clients to advocate for themselves. 

Birthrights is the UK charity that champions respectful maternity care by protecting human rights. We provide advice and legal information to women and birthing people, train healthcare professionals to deliver rights-respecting care and campaign to change maternity policy and systems.