UN reports shortcomings in the protection of older people and calls for new convention

UNHRC_logoA report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR) published in February takes stock of the progress made by the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing over its 11 working sessions held since 2011 and the work of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment by all older persons of human rights. It is based on two earlier analytical studies undertaken by OHCHR in 2012 and 2021 on normative standards, which demonstrated that the current international framework provides fragmented and inconsistent coverage of the human rights of older persons in law and practice.

This report concluded that the absence of a dedicated international human rights convention entails that a number of issues that are particularly significant for older persons are not sufficiently covered by the existing human rights mechanisms. It therefore calls for a two-track approach: better implementation of existing norms and standards and accelerated development of a new UN convention.

The report will provide the basis for discussion during a multi-stakeholder meeting organised by the Human Rights Council on how best to address possible gaps and other limitations in the protection fo human rights in older age, which will take place during the summer of 2022. It will also contribute to all relevant discussions at the national, regional and international levels, including the United Nations’ Open-ended Working Group on Ageing.

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