Stamp out human rights denials in old age
Younger generations must act now to stamp out human rights denials in old age – UN expert
GENEVA (29 September 2017) – The UN Independent Expert on older people’s rights, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, is marking the International day of Older Persons (1 October) by urging those in power today to provide decent futures for older people – noting that they themselves will be affected by the issue in years to come. Her statement is as follows:
“A demographic revolution is under way and we cannot continue to make commitments to older people and not follow through on them.
Unlike action on climate change, which will be our legacy for future generations, young people in positions of power today will themselves not escape ageism, discrimination and the denial of human rights in older age unless we recognize now that there is a need for concrete action.
I call on States to step up their efforts to determine the best way to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older people and to consider the various proposals that have been made, including the elaboration of a dedicated instrument on the rights of older people.
Older people should remain integrated in society, participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their well-being and share their knowledge and skills with younger generations.
They should be able to seek and develop opportunities for service to the community and to serve as volunteers in positions appropriate to their interests and capabilities.
Looking at the situation of older people worldwide today, this sounds like a Utopia. Yet States made these commitments as early as 1991 when adopting the United Nations Principles on Older Persons. We need to act without delay to make this Utopia a reality.”