Using the Court System to Address Maternal Mortality in India
In India, civil society advocates successfully used the judicial system to argue that the government was
not meeting its human rights obligations. In 2010, advocates cited constitutional and human rights law
to show that the government had not fulfilled its responsibility to prevent the pregnancy-related deaths
of two women. The Delhi High Court found the government to be negligent in protecting women’s basic, fundamental, and human right to life, as stipulated in the Indian Constitution. The government was required to provide monetary compensation to the families, to identify the failures in the current system that led to these deaths, and to develop strategies for monitoring and improving health services.