Age Demands Action on Rights

On 15 June 2015, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Age Demands Action movement will once again come together to lead the fight for older people's rights and raise awareness of elder abuse.

Why Age Demands Action on Rights?

Older campaigners in Haiti demand their rights. (c) HelpAge International Older campaigners in Haiti demand their rights. (c) HelpAge International This is the fourth year of the Age Demands Action on Rights campaign. The focus is to raise awareness of elder abuse and campaign for a convention on the rights of older people.

According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse "constitutes a violation of human rights and includes physical, sexual, psychological, emotional; financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and respect."

Age Demands Action campaigners have collected 278,638 signatures in support of a convention. Last year Kenneth Hemley, an older activist from Jamaica, handed the petition over to the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing at the UN in New York.

Our key action this year involves tactical advocacy and lobbying to endorse the need for a convention.

2015 campaigning activities: At a glance

Age Demands Action across the globe

India: HelpAge India are holding a Tweetathon on 15 June 10am-12pm IST. Get involved @HelpAgeIndia_ using #StopElderAbuseToday.

Bangladesh: Traditional street theatre will be used to raise awareness around elder abuse issues.

Russia: Two of our campaign partners are organising events and over 1,000 older people will take part. A flash mob of over 200 older people will also take place.

Serbia: Our partner in Serbia will hold their annual "Third Age Fair" which will be attended by 15,000 people. There will be discussions on the importance of putting older people's rights on the human rights agenda.

Sierra Leone: 2,000 older people will campaign for a national policy to protect the rights of older people.

Age Demands Action at the UN

Every year at the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, we aim to take an Age Demands Action campaigner to share why they think there should be a convention to protect their rights.

This year, our Age Demands Action campaigner, Estha Wamera is attending. We will keep you up to date about her visit to the UN in New York, and what is achieved in the coming months.

How you can take action

Get the facts:

Read the GAROP In Our Own Words report in which older people talk about the ageism, discrimination and denial of human rights that they are subjected to in their everyday life.

The WHO Global status report on violence prevention 2014, is the first report of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence.

It reviews the status of violence prevention efforts in countries and calls for a scaling up of violence prevention programmes, stronger legislation and enforcement of laws relevant for violence prevention, and enhanced services for victims of violence.

Get online:

Support the campaign by tweeting the following:

Tweet: I'm joining @helpage and older campaigners everywhere on #WEAAD2015 to call for an end to #elderabuse. Please RT! http://bit.ly/L0agUu

Our campaigning impact

In 2014, 40 countries took part in the campaign. Older people met with government ministers and decision makers to highlight the discrimination, violence and abuse they face and ask them to support a convention.

Check out our impact timeline to see how campaigning continues to translate into real policy changes.

Comment on this page

Comments are moderated before publication. Not all comments will be published.

Comments submitted for this page

  • i j saldanha. (12 June 2015)

    Old age makes people afraid and unable to stand up for them selves. The Govt must put in place regulations for Sr.Citizens Homes to follow and must be checked by authority periodically.

  • Carmen P. Vicente (31 July 2014)

    Since Older Persons/People is one of our primary partners, our full support goes for the protection of their rights. Mabuhay!

  • VANN Vichheka (30 July 2014)

    Older People must receive the same rights as others so UN convention on the rights of older people must exist.

  • Rev. Peter Okyere (26 July 2014)

    Since God created all men equally,irrespective of color, race or sex, it is very important for the rights of older people to be respected in every country.

  • John Ballantyne (24 July 2014)

    The rights of older people need to be peotected at all times

  • yvonne nawila (13 June 2014)

    older people must be given their rights, we must remember that we shall all get old and will need these rights. its a fight for me, for you for us.

  • naw naw junior (11 June 2014)

    OPSHG's is so powerful in my home town

  • JANKI BALLABH JHA (15 September 2013)

    Older people re the most vulnerable part of society.It is high time that United Nations forms specific enforceable rights of the elderly

  • Joseph Vijay Panicker (29 July 2013)

    Give them their rightful place

  • Waqas Ashfaq Qureshi (18 June 2013)

    Dear Ms. Fatimah Khalfan!

    Thanks for your comprehensive and informative comments. There is no doubt that older people in Pakistan facing a number of issues, keeping in view advocating to Government of Pakistan for legislation on the rights of older people.

    I am glad to know that you and your organization is willing to participate in ADA campaign. Please contact me at; waqas.qureshi@helpagesa.org

  • Joseph Vijay Panicker (17 June 2013)

    True Old people all over the world,need help from their Govts

  • Fatima Khalfan (13 June 2013)

    As a founder of VCARE in Pakistan, I can see that many older people who come to us at adult day care are totally depended on organizations or on their families. After living a life of hard work to earn money for the families and paid taxes to the government; and when they age, forcefully they have to become dependable on their children because no adequate facilities are available for an older civilian of this country. Older people, who are entitled for the pension, get only Rs. 4000/- per month which is not even suffice to buy nutritionist food for themselves. Even older people do not know about their rights. When I meet older people in communities, I realize how helpless they are in their health issues, housing needs. This is what instigated in me a desire to raise more awareness on what rights older people are entitled to.



    In Pakistan older people fear a long life since they are uncertain of who will take care of them after retirement and where will they go for any assistance; therefore, most of them pray for an early death because they don’t want to get depended on anyone. This we found worrisome that for how long will the older people of this country face social, mental, physical, financial issues in Pakistan. This is unfortunate of Pakistan that there are no policies available at the regional and national level and older people day is unheard of in Pakistan.



    VCARE celebrated older people day last year with full zeal and enthusiasm and more than 800 older people participated in the day in which we endorsed the policy frame work of the WHO on active and healthy ageing for Pakistan and this year on older people day we want to realize the voice for the older people of Pakistan in collaboration with the local stakeholders and would like Helpage Pakistan to collaborate with us in this event .



    We want to start our Age Demands Action on Health campaign from this year in Pakistan by writing articles in newspapers, promoting healthy ageing through media and during the awareness sessions on the community levels forward the theme of this year’s older people day Ageing demand action in Pakistan. I am hopeful that good results will soon be seen. To make the campaign a success, we will collaborate with the other service providers and stakeholders to support the event.

  • Sarah (HelpAge) (10 June 2013)

    Dear Mr Bajo, thank you for your message. The campaign is open to everyone so if you want to organise an event or promote the petition - please do! If you need any information or help, do not hesitate to email us at campaigns@helpage.org

  • Mr Ousman Bajo (10 June 2013)

    Hallo why their is no invitation for my country The Gambia. My organization always take part in all the issues about Aging, in my country. I will deem it absolutely necessary if my request is granted. Thanks.

  • Siddha Raj Upadhayay(Raj) (02 June 2013)

    we want to join with you. We can help communication and awareness all over...

  • Halima Elkandu (01 June 2013)

    Almost all young people see older people as useless or at least under estimate them. They never respect the experiences accumulated during this long life. I do not know why they reflect their astonishments when they discover that this odd person is an expert or a knowledgeable person. It should be the first assumption & the unexpected one is to be ignorant & useless. Yes, young people have to be proud about themselves but never under estimate those who gave them this life & all those things they feel proud about. You need them while you were so small & helpless, & they need you while they are old & helpless. Remember, one day you will stand on their shoes. Be fair & respect all human being especially people with special needs.Almost all young people see older people as useless or at least under estimate them. They never respect the experiences accumulated during this long life. I do not know why they reflect their astonishments when they discover that this odd person is an expert or a knowledgeable person. It should be the first assumption & the unexpected one is to be ignorant & useless. Yes, young people have to be proud about themselves but never under estimate those who gave them this life & all those things they feel proud about. You need them while you were so small & helpless, & they need you while they are old & helpless. Remember, one day you will stand on their shoes. Be fair & respect all human being especially people with special needs.

  • Sarah (HelpAge) (31 May 2013)

    Cher Banywesize.
    Merci pour votre message. Nous voulons vous tenir au courant du processus OEWG et, si vous voulez, aussi accueillir votre contribution à une lettre qui sera signée par des ONG qui soutiennent le OEWG. Veuillez nous envoyer vos coordonnées et nous prendrons contact avec vous.

  • Barbara Campaigns Coordinator (31 May 2013)

    Dear All,
    Thank you for your comments. We are reaching a very critical time where older people rights and the UN convention is being discussed in New York. I would like to hear from you how we can get more voices be heard supporting the UN convention at OEWG? Any thoughts on this?

  • Barbara (31 May 2013)

    Dear Zacheus, thank you for your comment. I am very pleased to hear that you are interested in older people rights. The good news is that we do advocacy organisation in Zimbabwe and I am happy to share with you the details. Simply email me on: campaigns@helpage.org

  • BANYWESIZE BAHIZIRE WILBRORD (31 May 2013)

    La DRC compte beaucoup de personnse agées dont certaines vivent dans les home et les autres abandonnées à leur triste sort,je ne vois pas notre place,si à titre d'observateur vous pouvez nous inviter aussi,merci.

  • Zacheus (31 May 2013)

    There is growing disregard of older person rights in our communities in Zimbabwe yet there is no visible action group for older persons. HelAge, where are you!!!!!!!!!!?????????

  • Sailesh Mishra (31 May 2013)

    At Silver Inning Foundation we demand UN convention on the rights of older people.

  • James Mbungyuh Tseyah (30 May 2013)

    We should all stop age discrimination and stand up for equal rights, because we are all equal.

  • Thepiru-Uyukutu Albert (30 May 2013)

    It is good to take action on this activity about the elderly.

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