Mistreatment of pregnant women, adolescent girls and persons, as well as newborns is a pervasive problem around the globe. Anecdotal reports and research evidence collected in maternity care systems from the wealthiest to poorest nations worldwide, irrespective of the state of the health systems, paint a disturbing picture. In fact, mistreatment of persons seeking maternity care, whether subtle or overt, intentional or unintentional, is being recognized as an urgent problem and a growing global movement has been created that spans the domains of healthcare research, quality and education; human rights; and civil rights advocacy.