HelpAge attends UN meeting to discuss older people's rights


By Sarah Marzouk

The fourth session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) will meet in New York between 12 and 15 August 2013. The OEWGA, which is made up of all UN member states, was set up in 2010 to discuss the possibility of a new human rights instrument dedicated to older people's rights. Mbuke from Tanzania with her grandchildren We are at the UN to discuss how to best protect older people's rights. Mbuke, for example, was accused of being a witch, simply because of her age. (c) Jeff Williams/HelpAge International

HelpAge and some of our partner organisations will be there to make two things clear:

  • The working group must continue to meet to discuss what the main elements of a new instrument to protect older people's rights should be.
  • A convention on the rights of older people is the only legally binding instrument that will adequately protect the rights of older people, as existing UN conventions do not cover the specific rights violations that people experience in old age.

How we are taking part

Representatives from HelpAge, Age Action Ireland and Age International will be at the meeting to raise these issues with Member States and other NGOs. Older representatives will also be participating from our partners Ageing Nepal and Slovenian organisation ZDUS.

Among other things, these representatives will be addressing the right to social security and health in Slovenia and how a new convention would improve older people's enjoyment of this right. Discrimination and access to work in Ireland and the positive impact a new convention would have on this will also be raised.

We will be taking part in the OEWGA in a number of other ways, including:

  • commenting on how we need both regional and international human rights standards on older people's rights,
  • outlining what we believe are the essential minimum core elements of a new convention for it to be effective,
  • building on our rights meeting in Osnabruck in December 2012 to demonstrate the desire among European civil society for a convention,
  • talking about how a new convention will change older people's lives on the ground,

Support older people's rights

As part of our ADA for Rights campaign that took place on 15 June, activists met with key decision-makers - including Presidents, Vice Presidents, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and other high-level politicians - to urge their governments to attend the fourth session of the OEWGA.

The positive participation of governments at the OEWGA is critical to keep the process towards a new convention on the rights of older people moving forwards.

To support a new UN convention on the rights of older people, please sign our Age Demands Action petition. Every single signature contributes towards the global call for a convention and brings us closer to our target of 200,000.

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  • 유지혜 (13 August 2013)

    I wanna support this movement.

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