UN Convention on the rights of older people

A UN Convention on the rights of older people is crucial if we want to ensure that as we grow older, our rights and well-being are protected and respected.

As societies continue to age, we must address the unique challenges faced by older people.


Why do we need a UN Convention on the rights of older people?

A UN Convention on the rights of older people would:

  1. Provide a comprehensive framework to promote and safeguard their rights, covering areas such as healthcare, social protection, employment, and participation in decision-making processes
  2. Serve as a powerful tool in combating ageism, discrimination, and neglect, while fostering an inclusive and age-friendly society for all
  3. Address the pressing issue of elder abuse and neglect, which remains a global concern
  4. Establish clear guidelines and mechanisms for preventing, detecting, and addressing instances of abuse, whether physical, emotional, or financial
  5. Promote the importance of dignity, autonomy, and independence for older people, while ensuring that they have access to justice and support systems.
  6. Contribute to a shift in societal attitudes and practices by raising awareness and setting standards for the treatment of older people, ultimately fostering a culture of respect and care for our older population.


Towards a UN convention: how we’re making a difference

Every year we learn more about our rights in older age as they come under increasing focus at the UN. Efforts towards a UN convention will work if we all take part. Almost 400 organisations are already committed to working towards a UN convention as members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP).
This work is securing the backing of an increasing number of governments: in 2019 Cameroon and Nigeria spoke out for the first time at the UN in support of a convention – as a result of the pressure put on them by older people and civil society.

It was an honour to speak at the UN this week and share my perspective as an older person myself and the experiences of older people in my community in Tanzania. I was surprised by how much people appreciated my perspective.

Elisha, from the Good Samaritan Social Service Trust in Tanzania.

2024 Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing

In 2024, the 14th Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) session marks a pivotal ‘make or break’ moment for the UN convention on the rights of older people.

It's time for action!

Watch this animation to remind yourself why we need a UN convention to protect and promote the rights of older people.

What older people say about their rights

Subscribe to our newsletter