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The countdown to Age Demands Action begins!

12 Sep 2013

On 1 October, the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, older people campaign against injustice and age discrimination as part of our Age Demands Action (ADA) campaign.

This year, 58 countries will take part, with countries such as Kazakhstan, Lesotho and Nigeria joining for the first time. Campaigners of all ages will raise awareness of the issues older people face, meet their governments and follow up on past ADA pledges.

What's the campaign calling for?

Campaigners will meet their local governments and ministries and call for improvements on issues that are important to them, such as health insurance, pensions and rights and equality.

At the international level, we are calling for a UN convention on the rights of older people. To support this, campaigners are collecting signatures to our ADA petition. We have over 170,000 signatures already, but we still need your help to reach our target of 200,000. As displayed in the gallery above, we are also asking people to show their support for a convention by sending in their "C" for convention photos!

What's happening this 1 October?

Here are just some exciting examples of what will be happening around the world on 1 October:

In Albania, a march will take place in Tirana. Young volunteers will set up stands with banners and distribute information on ADA.

In Bangladesh, there will be free health camps in three different locations. A delegation of older people will also meet the National Human Rights Commission to talk about their rights.

Older people in Cambodia will focus on calling for pensions for all older people aged 70 and over. An awards ceremony for outstanding members of our older people's associations will also be held in Phnom Penh.

In Colombia, a photo exhibition called "Ageing of Montes de Maria" will be held in the main corridors of Congress. Campaigners will also be asking Congress to work closely with the Ministry of Labour to expand coverage of the universal social pension.

Better access to public transport in Dominica

In Dominica, a delegation of campaigners will meet senior officials and performances and intergenerational activities will take place. They will be calling for older people to have easier access to public transport, cinema, theatre and other recreational activities.

A brass band procession involving people holding placards will take place in Ghana. Campaigners will also be demanding the implementation of National Ageing Policy and be interviewed on national television and radio.

In Indonesia, ADA will call on the Ministry of Health to develop a policy on long-term care, as there are currently no nursing homes or long-term care facilities in Indonesia. A "memory walk" will also be organised to raise awareness of dementia.

This year the ADA delegation in Jamaica will focus on calling for a UN convention on the rights of older people and supporting the Organisation for American States Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. A symposium will be organised at which issues such as social pensions, age-friendly healthcare and age discrimination will be raised.

In partnership with the Ministry of Social Development, Help Lesotho will raise awareness of the need to speed up the formulation of the Older Persons National Policy. Over 1,000 people are expected to participate in ADA activities including songs, plays and poems.

More day care centres in Macedonia

In Macedonia, the focus of the campaign is to highlight the need for more day care centres for older people. Campaigners will convey their messages through a poetry reading event.

The campaign in Gaza and the West Bank will raise awareness about the need for age-friendly health services and pensions for all older people. Activities will include a march towards the Parliament in Gaza and wall printings in the street to encourage students to support the campaign.

Poverty will be the top item on the ADA agenda in Serbia. The campaign will include workshops and plays at the Autumn Festival of Health, a "Third Age Olympics" in Sokobanja and training sessions with medical doctors and professionals working in nursing homes.

The main objective of the ADA campaign in Slovenia will be to focus on the participation of older people in the economy. ADA activities will take place at the Festival for the Third Age (1-3 October), which will be attended by Slovenian President, Borut Pahor.

In Sri Lanka, the Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Social Services and Director of Social Services will hear campaigners talk about the need to expand social allowance payments and provide discounted rates for older people on public transport.

Get involved!

These are just some examples of the amazing action our campaigners are taking across the world on and around 1 October.

You can be part of the Age Demands Action movement too by:

  • Signing the ADA petition
  • Taking a "C" for convention photo (as in the gallery above) to show your support for older people's rights and sending it to campaigns@helpage.org

Your comments

Hellen Cynthia Wanjiru

The work that Help age international is doing is commendable. it is going to save many old people around the world from being ignored and abandoned. i would like to join the campaigns in 2014. i am a Kenyan currently residing in Finland for a short while. i have a passion for old people.

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Barbara Dockalova
Country: London
Job title: Campaigns Co-ordinator

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.