HelpAge speaks to first UN working group on older people's rights


Isabel, 73, from Bolivia holds a sign saying 'Yes to older women's rights' Isabel, 73, from Bolivia holds a sign saying 'Yes to older women's rights' HelpAge International 2011 By Bridget Sleap

This week HelpAge is attending the first Open Ended Working Group on Ageing at the UN in New York.

This new UN working group was established at the 2010 UN General Assembly to look at strengthening the protection of older people's rights.

This week it is discussing the existing international human rights framework in relation to the human rights of older people, including the possibility of a convention.

This is the first time an official process has been set up for UN Member States to discuss how to better protect older people's rights, even though Argentina put forward the idea of a convention on older people's rights back in 1948.

NGOs got a chance to make statements at the end of the first day.

The first statement was a joint one on behalf of the coalition of NGOs who are working together on older people's rights.

Read the NGO's joint statement to the working group.

HelpAge then made a statement emphasising the need to listen to what older women and men themselves have identified as the key rights they want protected.

Read HelpAge's statement to the UN Open Ended Working Group.

The rest of the week will be spent looking at the existing international human rights system in more detail.

For a fuller account of the working group meeting read HelpAge rights adviser Bridget Sleap's blog