Council of Europe instrument on the rights of the elderly

Council of Europe instrument on the rights of the elderly

The Steering Group on Human Rights of the Council of Europe (CDDH) has given a mandate to a working group comprised of experts from Council of Europe Member States (CDDH-AGE) to explore possibilities for adoption of a non-binding document on the human rights of the elderly. AGE Platform Europe was invited to take part in the first meeting of this group that took place in Strasbourg on 21-23 March 2012.

AGE presented our activities and our expectations with regard to the work of the CDDH-AGE. We also brought forward our views on the nature and scope of the instument as well as a possible definition of "elderly". The report of the meeting is available on the website of the Council of Europe and will be submitted to the Steering Group which will decide during its next meeting in June 2012 the extent and the coverage of the instrument.

The Group's main conclusions are the following:

  • The instrument is to be a non-binding document in the format of a Recommendation or Guidelines that is to be adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe
  • Adopting an appropriate definition of "elderly" appears difficult and unnecessary; if a definition is to be adopted, this should not include an age limit.
  • The instrument should refer to the rights of older people (instead of the elderly)
  • The following categories of rights should be included in the document: (see report for further information)

           - non-discrimination

           - autonomy, participation and social inclusion

           - protection against violence and abuse

           - support and care

You may read the report of the meeting in English here and in French here.

For more information you may contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.%20">Nena Georgantzi, Legal & Research Officer

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