Teixeira v. Brazil, Brazil, CEDAW Committee, 2011.
Alyne da Silva Pimentel Teixeira, a Brazilian national of African origin, suffered a high-risk pregnancy and was repeatedly denied timely care at public health facility, before dying of a digestive hemorrhage following delivery of her stillborn fetus. The husband of the deceased then filed a civil claim for material and moral damages, and twice requested the judicial mechanism of tutela antecipada, which requests the judge to anticipate the protective effects of a decision. The first request was ignored and the second denied. The mother of the deceased then submitted a complaint to CEDAW Committee, alleging that the State violated her daughter’s right to life and health under the Convention (CEDAW). The State contended that the evidence offered no link between the deceased’s gender and the possible errors committed, and that such errors therefore did not fall within the definition of discrimination set out in the Convention. Upon consideration, the Committee found that the death of the deceased must be regarded as maternal, that the deceased was denied appropriate services in connection with her pregnancy, that the State failed to fulfill its obligations under the Convention pursuant to the right to health, and that the State’s lack of appropriate maternal health services has a differential impact on the right to life of women. The Committee directed the State to take the following steps: compensate the deceased’s family, ensure women’s right to safe motherhood and affordable access to adequate emergency obstetric care, provide adequate professional training for health workers, ensure that private health care facilities comply with national and international standards on reproductive health care, and ensure that sanctions are imposed on health professionals who violate women’s reproductive health rights.
Maria da Penha v. Brazil, Brazil, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, 2000.
Impunity for severe intimate partner violence. Abusive husband shot Maria da Penha in the back while she was sleeping. Da Penha was paralyzed from the waist down. The husband received 2 years in prison after 19 years of trial. The Inter-American Commission found that the delays and the lack of protections in Brazil for domestic violence survivors amounted to violations of da Penha's human right to live free from violence and to access justice.