Council of Europe adopts recommendations on the rights of older persons and calls for legally binding instrument
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is made up of elected officials of national parliaments, has adopted two texts spelling out a series of steps that are needed to protect the rights of older persons.
Address poverty & age discrimination and protect older persons' rights in care settings
In a resolution adopted unanimously, based on a report by Lord Foulkes from the United Kingdom, the PACE recognizes that older people suffer from widespread negative stereotypes, which are at the root of age discrimination and elder violence, as well as of their isolation and exclusion. Among the actions proposed, the Assembly called on EU Member States to ensure a minimum living income and appropriate housing to enable older persons to live in dignity. They should also prohibit by law age discrimination in the provision of goods and services and undertake a series of measures in the health and social care sector. These include the suggestion to adopt a charter of rights for older persons in care settings, which could be used to empower older persons, as well as to monitor long-term care by an independent body.
In its recommendation the PACE also notes initiatives by other regional organisations to enshrine the rights of older persons in legally binding instruments and calls on the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to consider the necessity and feasibility of drawing up a legally binding instrument in this field.
Next steps for national governments and civil society
This initiative is timely as Member States are expected to report on the implementation of the Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)2 adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2014 regarding the promotion of the human rights older persons. These documents provide another ground to pay attention to the situation of older persons and to think about concrete measures that can strengthen the protection of their human rights. But in order for these recommendations to be effective civil society needs to be active in pushing for the adoption of the proposed measures at national level and also for further debate regarding a new legally binding instrument.
You may have access to the report, resolution and recommendation of the PACE here
For more information you may contact Nena Georgantzi