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ADA for Rights updates from around the world!

27 Jun 2013

OnAge Demands Action for Rights in Colombia. 15 June, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), Age Demands Action for Rights was celebrated for the second time.

HelpAge partners in 29 countries used this day of global action to meet with key decision-makers to build support for a UN convention on the rights of older people. Campaigners encouraged their governments to attend the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG) where a new UN convention is being discussed.

There were also a huge variety of activities to raise awareness among the public and the media of elder abuse. In many countries, a signature campaign formed part of the day's activities, where signatures for our petition calling for a convention were collected.

The following is a round-up of just some of the many activities which took place on and around World Elder Abuse Awareness Day this year.

A convention on the rights of older people

Information on the convention was distributed to HelpAge Spain's donors, as well as government agencies and other NGOs. On 24 June they met the Director of the Office of Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss the convention.

In Bangladesh, a debate took place on the UN convention on the rights of older people in which two representatives from the Older People's Association Federation participated. ADA campaigners also delivered a speech about older people's rights.

The National Association of Older People in Peru (ANAMPER) collected signatures in support of a convention and will present them to Congress and the Executive Branch. They will request that Peru support a UN convention on the rights of older people.

In Ghana, an item on the news called on the government to support activities at the OEWG around the convention. A meeting took place with the sector minister to discuss Ghana's participation at the OEWG in August.

In the Philippines, older people met with the Department of Foreign Affairs who asked our Affiliate COSE to give input at the OEWG. A workshop was held with 100 older people from metro Manila to explain the issues which need to be brought to the OEWG. Another meeting will be held in early July with the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to discuss the output from the workshop and the importance of Philippines being present at the OEWG.

The National Ombudsman of Costa Rica and the Costa Rican Gerontological Association (AGECO) took joint action in raising awareness about the human rights of older people.

Raising awareness of elder abuse

Age Demands Action for Rights in Bolivia.Also in Costa Rica, a fair was held in San Jose at which hundreds of older people and their family members received information about older people's rights. The National Ombudsman, public universities and others also participated. Several marches took place across the country and information leaflets on the rights of older people were distributed.

People took action by forming human chains in four districts across Bangladesh.

In Colombia, an older leader Maria Tila Uribe gave a presentation on "strategies and actions to promote good treatment of older people". An intergenerational meeting was also organised to promote communication, solidarity and friendship between young and older people. Signatures supporting the convention were also collected.

In Bolivia, older people's organisations coordinated a march to demand the elimination of all forms of violence against older people. Hundreds of older people also attended a conference with Karina Marconi, Vice Minister for Equal Opportunities, who discussed the new General Law for Older People (adopted on 1 May) which ensures, among other things, older people's freedom from discrimination and violence.

ADA for Rights in the media

Age Demands Action for Rights in Costa Rica.The debate in Dhaka University in Bangladesh received a great deal of media coverage; in print, on TV, and online. HelpAge's acting CEO Silvia Stefanoni was also interviewed on the Bangladeshi television channel NTV.

There was also coverage of WEAAD in the Express Tribune, the International Herald Tribune's partner newspaper in Pakistan.

The media in Ghana widely covered WEAAD; a national radio station aired a full commentary on the day, further calling on the government to reduce violations of older people's rights.

Altogether we had tweets about the campaign from ten countries, which included photos of meetings, a video of a march in Nepal, and HelpAge staff tweeting directly to decision makers calling on them to attend the OEWG.

Building on last year's successful campaign, ADA for Rights 2013 has been very exciting. Many of our partners and Affiliates have followed up on their demands from last year; further developing their tactics to get their message across to more and more people.

We look forward to receiving even more updates on the activities and outcomes of this year's campaign.

Get involved!

Sign our petition calling for a UN convention on rights of older people.

Read more about Age Demands Action for Rights.

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Author profile

Hannah Mackay
Country: U.K.
Job title: Campaigns

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