• Kelly Tavares

Interpreting for Center for Reproductive Rights

It was of great pleasure that I took on the opportunity to work as a translator for the Center of Reproductive Rights on a mission with a group of 6 other staff, responsible to ensure that justice is made to thousands of women worldwide.

For 25 years, the Center for Reproductive Rights has used the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right that all governments are legally obligated to protect, respect, and fulfill. Their groundbreaking cases before national courts, United Nations committees, and regional human rights bodies have expanded access to reproductive healthcare, including birth control, safe abortion, prenatal and obstetric care, and unbiased information. We influence the law outside the courtroom as well, documenting abusesworking with policymakers to promote progressive measures, and fostering legal scholarship and teaching on reproductive health and human rights. Read more.

Here in Rio the goal was to record a testimonial video about Alyne’s case. and my role was to facilitate communications between the crew and the victim’s family. Alyne, a 28-year-old Afro-Brazilian woman, died of complications resulting from pregnancy after a private and then a public health center denied her quality maternal health care. Brazil’s maternal mortality rates are disproportionately high for a country of its economic status, and the chances of dying in pregnancy and childbirth are greatest among indigenous, low-income, rural and Afro-descendant women such as Alyne. The Alyne v. Brazil case is the first case on maternal mortality to be decided by an international human rights body. The CEDAW Committee’s decision recognizes that states have an immediate and enforceable human rights obligation to address and reduce maternal mortality, strengthening the recognition of reproductive rights as obligations that must be immediately enforced by the state. States are accountable for the provision of quality maternal health care to all women, free from discrimination, regardless of their race, income or geographical location. This decision affects millions of women in Brazil and throughout the world who currently lack access to quality and timely maternal health care.

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