To mark Human Rights Day (10 December), HelpAge International, together with UNDP, has launched an animation that shows how older women and men around the world are denied their human rights.
Everyone is born with the same human rights, but ageist prejudices and stereotypes drive discrimination that undermines people's ability to enjoy these rights as they age.
Through the examples of health, freedom from violence, abuse and neglect, support and assistance, social security, and protection and security in humanitarian settings, the animation illustrates how the current international human rights system is failing older people:
- Three-quarters of older people in low and middle-income countries do not receive any pension.
- Older people experience different types of violence and abuse, yet data is often only collected about women up to the age of 49.
- Older people are disproportionately impacted during emergencies yet only 2% of humanitarian expenditure responds directly to older people’s needs.
- Only 5.6% of the world’s population lives in a country with national legislation providing universal entitlements to long-term support and assistance.
- People aged over 60 account for 71% of deaths from non-communicable diseases in low and middle-income countries, but global targets and indicators actively exclude older people by focusing on younger age groups.
The video argues that in order to effectively protect and promote older women and men's rights in national laws and policies, a UN convention on older people's rights is needed.
"Human rights are not age capped. On Human Rights Day, our call to decision makers at all levels is to include older people in planning and policies," said Justin Derbyshire, Chief Executive Officer at HelpAge International.
"Where older people are excluded from social protection, health and care, and humanitarian responses, their human rights are denied. This must end and older people's rights to dignity, security and health must be upheld."