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Joint Committee hears from Chief Midwifery Officer and Equality and Human Rights Commission on protecting human rights for black people

15 July 2020

The Joint Committee on Human Rights will be hearing from the Chief Midwifery Officer about the disproportionate levels of maternal deaths among black women, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) about its effectiveness in combating racism and ensuring that black people's human rights are protected.


Monday 20 July - remote participation by witnesses and members of the Committee

  • Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England and NHS Improvement
  • Rebecca Hilsenrath, CEO, Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • David Isaac CBE, Chair, Equality and Human Rights Commission

Purpose of the session

The Committee will be holding its second evidence session for its inquiry into black people, racism and human rights, focusing on the protection of black women's human rights in maternity services, and will be examining the effectiveness of the EHRC in eliminating prejudice and enforcing black people's human rights.

Specifically, the Committee will be asking about:

  • The availability of data and research to understand and monitor black women's experience of maternity services;
  • Action to eliminate the 5 times higher maternal mortality rate of black women;
  • The effectiveness of the Public Sector Equality Duty;
  • The effectiveness of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in protecting  human rights for black people; and
  • The adequacy of the duties, powers, governance structures and resources of the EHRC

Further information

Image: CCO