UN Human Rights Council appoints new Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons
AGE Platform Europe warmly welcomes the appointment of Claudia Mahler as the next United Nations’ Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of All Human Rights by Older Persons. Dr Mahler will take over this post from Rosa Kornfeld Matte who has been holding this mandate since 2014.
Originally from Austria, Dr Claudia Mahler works for the German Institute for Human Rights. Drawing on her wide human rights experience and a great record of advocacy for older people’s rights, she has published widely on the topic, participates in the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) and has contributed to the drafting of the 2014 Council of Europe recommendation on the rights of older persons. She has played an instrumental role in bringing together representatives of the German Federal government together with national NGOs and human rights professionals to deepen their knowledge on age discrimination and how to best tackle human rights breaches in old age both at domestic and global level.
Claudia Mahler works closely with our German member BAGSO and has also participated in several events organized by AGE, contributing to our ongoing efforts to apply a human rights-based approach in our policy and advocacy work.
The fruitful legacy of the first Independent Expert
The nomination of a UN Independent Expert is an important human rights mandate that monitors the situation on the rights of older persons across the world. The Independent Expert (IE) can undertake country visits to study national legislation, policy, regulatory frameworks, institutions and practices, to identify best practices and gaps in the implementation of human rights law. The Independent Expert works closely with governments and civil society. AGE has developed an excellent collaboration with Ms Kornfeld-Matte.
During her mandate, Ms Kornfeld Matte published several reports addressing aspects of care and autonomy, digitalization, social exclusion and older people in emergencies. She also evaluated the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA). Ms Kornfeld-Matte’s 2016 report on the implementation of the MIPAA helped unblock the stalemate in the OEWG and acted as a catalyst for several EU member states to actively engage in the discussions.
The work undertaken by Rosa Kornfeld Matte as first UN Independent Expert on the rights of older persons is an important legacy that Dr Mahler will build on. Claudia Mahler will take over from Rosa Kornfeld Matte when the next session of the UN Human Rights Council is resumed, as due to COVID-19 it has been suspended without further notice.
We look forward to working closely with her under this new hat and we warmly thank Ms Kornfeld Matte for her precious work to strengthen the protection of the rights of older persons worldwide.
More information about the appointment of the UN Independent Expert and the suspension of the 43rd session of the Human Rights Council.
For more information on AGE work on human rights, please contact Nena Georgantzi, firstname.lastname@example.org