Monday, April 19, 2010

Strengthening Older People’s Rights: Towards a UN Convention

Despite the fact that older women and men have the same rights as everyone else, older women and men around the world face age discrimination and are denied their rights on a regular basis. The world is ageing fast and age discrimination is increasing. This discrimination is completely unacceptable. Older women’s well being is doubly jeopardized when they are subjected to both age and gender discrimination.

Existing human rights instruments do not provide adequate legal protection of the rights of older people. In practice too, older women and men’s rights are not being adequately addressed or protected through the existing human rights system.

The time has come for a special rapporteur and a convention on the rights of older people. These new human rights instruments would help change attitudes towards older women and men and increase their visibility at both national and international levels. A new convention would also clarify government responsibilities towards older women and men, improve accountability and provide a framework for policy and decision making.

In collaboration with eight other international organizations, Global Action on Aging presents this new publication entitled “
Strengthening Older People’s Rights: Towards a UN Convention.” This publication was produced to strengthen understanding and awareness of the need for a special rapporteur and convention on the rights of older people. It aims to provide the arguments and tools for engaging people – from older women and men themselves to civil society organizations to government officials – across the globe in debate about older people’s rights and the role of a convention and special rapporteur. It also suggests ways in which individuals and civil society organizations can promote these new human rights instruments in their countries.

As civil society organizations, we have an important role to play in ensuring that older women and men shape, and are part of, the discussion about their rights. We hope that this publication will help you facilitate their inclusion in this discussion.

For further information, please contact Global Action on Aging at

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