HelpAge Espaņa hosts event to promote older people's rights


By Sarah Marzouk

An Age Demands Action campaigner in Colombia. HelpAge España is hosting an event in support of a UN convention on the rights of older people. (c) HelpAge International On 20 February in Madrid, our Affiliate HelpAge España is hosting an event to officially launch a committee in support of a UN convention on the rights of older people. The committee is formed of the 17 most important civil society organisations in Spain currently working on human rights and age related issues.

The event will be chaired by Rosa María Calaf; a distinguished journalist and TV broadcaster who has, through her work, gained personal insight on the rights of older people in developing countries.

The event, which coincides with the International Day of Social Justice, will be attended by the committee members as well as other third sector organisations who are working towards positive social change.

Older people invisible in human rights system

This new committee joins the existing HelpAge movement, including the HelpAge global network’s Age Demands Action campaign (ADA). ADA is a year-round grassroots movement led by older people in over 60 countries which is demanding a new convention to protect older people’s rights.

One of the committee aims, as well as discussing the need for a convention, will be to make older people a more visible group within the current human rights system, as well as highlighting their contributions to their families and society at a national and international level.

The development, adoption, ratification and implementation of a new convention on the rights of older people would provide a clearer legal framework and help governments, the private sector and civil society eliminate age discrimination and better protect the rights of older women and men.

In support of a new convention

Concepción Díaz Robledo, an expert on disability rights, will be present to talk about the establishment of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its connection to older people.

Paca Tricio from the Unión Democrática de Pensionistas will be present to speak about older people and social activism. She will also look at how older people’s rights are routinely violated and the importance for Spain to join this international initiative to support older people’s rights.

Luciano Poyato from the Third Sector Platform will talk about their reasons for supporting a new convention. He will also discuss the important role of civil society in defending citizens’ rights, in this case older people in Spain and across the world. HelpAge’s Chief Executive Officer Toby Porter, will present HelpAge’s role in promoting the rights of older people around the world.

The event will be closed by Loles Díaz, a journalist and HelpAge España board member, who will present the committee’s manifesto, which has been signed by all 17 organisations.

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