Rights of Older Persons

The NGO Committee on Ageing is committed to protecting and promoting the rights of older persons everywhere, irrespective of their economic and social situation.  It does so by encouraging and facilitating its members to advocate for older persons in a number of ways:

  • Participating (those that have ECOSOC consultative status) in intergovernmental meetings at the United Nations, by making statements, oral and written, to call attention to the concerns of older persons, ensuring their visibility and inclusion in intergovernmental recommendations for action;
  • Participating in side and parallel events that are organized during intergovernmental meetings, usually by other NGOs, to ensure that the concerns of older persons are fully recognized and where actions can be taken;
  • Networking with NGOs that focus on other issues (women, persons with disabilities, youth, migrants, human rights, health, education, employment, social protection, environment, sustainable development, etc. etc.) to ensure that older persons are included in their recommendations for action;
  • Joining the Stakeholder Group on Ageing (SGA), established for ensuring the inclusion of older persons in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (https://www.stakeholdergrouponageing.org/)  The NGO COA is a member of the SGA.
  • Joining the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) whose mission is to support and enhance civil society’s engagement at national, regional and international levels on the need for a new international instrument on the rights of older persons:  (https://rightsofolderpeople.org/mission-vision-values/).  (The NGO COA is an ex officio member of GAROP’s Steering Group.)


The NGO COA is deeply involved in the work of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) which meets annually to discuss the feasibility of an international legal instrument to protect the rights of older persons.  The NGO COA Subcommittee to Promote a Human Rights Convention for Older Persons, in its advocacy activities, works closely with:


Open-Ended Working Group On Ageing

The Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA), was established by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 65/182 in 2010 to consider “the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identifying possible gaps and how best to address them, including by considering, as appropriate, the feasibility of further instruments and measures”.

In 2013, the Human Rights Council decided to appoint an independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons (HRC resolution 24/20).  The first Independent Expert was Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte.  The second Independent Expert, Ms. Claudia Mahler, assumed her duties in May 2020.

Additional information, United Nations website:  https://social.un.org/ageing-working-group/

Background Material - here

  1. Why we need a convention to promote and protect the rights of older persons.
  2.  Brief background notes on ageing issues leading up to the establishment of the OEWGA.
  3. A new convention on the rights of older people: a concrete proposal.
  4. Strengthening Older People’s Rights: Towards a UN Convention, a resource for promoting dialogue on creating a new UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons, June 2010
  5.  Advocacy tips [Coming Soon...]

Reports of the OEWGA:

2019: https://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2019/2

2018: https://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2018/2 

2017: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2017/2

2016: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2016/2

2015: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2015/2

2014: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2014/2

2013: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2013/2

2012: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2012/1

2011: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2011/4


2011: http://undocs.org/A/AC.278/2011/5




Additional information on third session of the OEWGA

Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons

The Human Rights Council, in its resolution A/HRC/RES/24/20 of 27 September 2013 appointed an independent expert  on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons for three years.  The first Independent Expert was Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte (Chile), whose term was extended for an additional three years, to 2019 (A/HRC/RES/33/5 of 29 September 2016).  The Human Rights Council, in its resolution A/HRC/RES/42/12 of 26 September 2019, extended the mandate with the appointment of Ms. Claudia Mahler (Germany) for three years.


Reports of the Independent Expert:


Reports on Country visits

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/OlderPersons/IE/Pages/CountryVisits.aspx

  • New Zealand, China, 2020  
  • Mozambique, Uruguay,  2019
  • Montenegro, Georgia, 2018
  • Namibia, 2017
  • Singapore, Costa Rica, 2016
  • Mauritius, Austria, 2015
  • Slovenia, 2014


Regional Legal Instruments

Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons, June 2015. Download Document Here...

Protocol to the Africa Charter on Human Rights and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa, January 2016. Download Document Here...

Useful information about the rights of older persons, including advocacy guidelines, toolkits, etc.

NGO Committee on Ageing • PO Box 1854 • New York, NY • 10163-1854