Vereinte Nationen - 07.09.2011 - von IFA
The purpose of the OEWG by UN resolution is to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older persons. It will consider the existing international framework of the human rights of older persons and identify possible gaps and how best to address them, including by considering, as appropriate, the feasibility of further instruments and measures. For further information contact Dr Jane Barratt at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the following link.
The International Federation on Ageing (IFA) was well represented with as many as twenty guests and members at the recent meetings United Nations meetings in New York. As a member of NGO with General Consultative Status at the UN the IFA presented two interventions which called for new and stronger partnerships with member states in understanding the most effective ways to protect the rights of older people globally; and the valuable work of the forthcoming 10 year review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA).
The IFA also recognises the value proposition of a Special Rapporteur, yet knows that this cannot substitute for the work toward full protection of the rights of older people which lies in a new international human rights instruments in the name of a Convention. This working session was organized around five topics, namely discrimination and multiple discrimination; right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; violence and abuse; social protection and the right to social security; and age and social exclusion. The following ten substantive issues appeared consistently through the discussions:
Multiple-discrimination based on age and sex is most prominent, but it also manifests based on age and health condition, socio-economic conditions, or place of residence.
Ageism, stigma and prejudice impact various human rights; age is often seen as a weakness.
Old-age poverty appears to be the result of lack of protection mechanisms but also as a consequence of: specific policies; financial exploitation; or denial of rights.
Violence and abuse of older persons in care institutions and family settings is a global phenomenon.
Physical and mental health of older persons is at the core of human rights concerns.
Social protection and social security issues include contributory and non-contributory pensions, incentives for older persons to stay in the labour market, policies geared towards care givers, intergenerational solidarity, and provisions addressing disability in old age.
Social exclusion manifests through lack of information, knowledge and understanding on the rights by older persons, mechanisms of participation, education for all regardless of age, and adequate consultation in decision-making.
Equality before the lawto prevent negative differential treatment.
Older women are more at risk of violence, neglect, of living in poverty, or with lower pension, or no pension at all- as many women primarily work in the informal sector all their lives.
Exercising legal capacity- there is need to provide safeguards to prevent abuse by relatives or caregivers, and to ensure legal and judicial mechanisms for revision. The IFA is one of nine founders of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People Link which is a social movement committed to strengthening the rights of older people.
2nd of August: Second Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing - Statement submitted by the IFA
The International Federation on Ageing is one of nine founding members of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons.
Following the Second World Assembly on Ageing, civil society has always expressed its wish to partner with Member States to assist in the tasks of ensuring that citizens of whatever age, throughout the world, be socially protected as well as safe and secure. With the expected dramatic increase in the numbers of elderly world-wide, the likelihood of those facing poverty, discrimination and abuse will also increase. We are urging that real partnerships be promoted and instituted in the quest for a document that addresses the human rights of older persons.
The Global Alliance is committed to pursuing such a document. Based on the valuable information from all the sources we have been privileged to hear and the statements already existing in various UN documents and in national and regional instruments, we believe such a document will benefit those we heard about this week: the hundreds of millions who live in poverty, those who are abused, victimized, the disenfranchised widows, those accused of witchcraft and put to death without recourse to protection -- we believe that together we can forge a convention that will be a true force for good for older people everywhere. And such a document can benefit all in the communities by seeking more harmonious modes of living. As the panelist from Kenya noted, all generations can benefit from having the rights of older persons assured. The gaps in already existing documents can be addressed and remedied to meet the needs of all older persons, wherever in the world they live.
We suggest that in building a new comprehensive, inclusive document that the framework for a new expression of concern, respect, admiration and affection for older people exists in the December 1991(46/91) GA Resolution entitled UN Principles for Older Persons. We envision a convention for older persons' human rights developing out of this and the other documents referenced this week.
It is with great respect for the GA's purpose in convening these OEWG sessions that we appeal to all to consider making new, strong and substantive partnerships with civil society. Our common intent is to improve the lives of all older persons, those among us today and those of you who will join the ballooning ranks of the future populations of elders. Can we begin to seriously build partnerships?
We believe that the 10 Year Review of MIPAA will reveal that many countries have adopted the "bottom up" approach recommended in the MIPAA, and has led many Member States to address the needs and issues of older persons. Furthermore, this process has been supported where the MIPAA has been publicized and translated into local languages.
4th of August: Second Session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing - Statement submitted by the IFA
On behalf of the International Federation on Ageing, a membership-based organisation comprising non-governmental organisations, government, business, academia and individuals in 71 countries; these agencies are members because they are committed to the interests of the older people. IFA is a founding member of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People a social movement. The IFA is honoured to be an observer at the Second Working Session of the Open-ended working group with the opportunity to provide such interventions. We regard this as a privileged position.
We have gained tremendously from the diversity of views from members' states and with that a deeper understanding of their current positions in regard to the protection of rights of older people in their respective countries.
The Panel sessions have also offered the occasion to examine the similarities and differences experienced by older people in developed and less developed countries - in fact older people living in poverty for example is a global problem. It is however clear that in some regions of the world the plight of older people are indeed responded to in a more comprehensive manner, yet as we learned from this session at that of the first working session the mechanisms are neither universal nor accessible.
The IFA deeply appreciates the work of the Open-ended working group on such a critical yet complex subject - their work has been comprehensive, substantive and thoughtful. The continuation of this Open-ended working group is welcome - the national, regional and international knowledge gaps remains indefinable but one that must be filled.
The IFAs position in respect to the manner in which global rights of older people are achieved lies in the development of a new human rights instrument, vis a vis A Convention. It does however responds positively to the proposal of a number of member states of a special rapporteur working in parallel to understanding how best to full protect the rights of all people globally rather than regional responses which in fact create fragmentation within and across countries
However in accepting the proposition of a Special Rapporteur, this cannot be a substitute for the work toward full protection of the rights of older people which we strongly believe lies in a new international human rights instruments in the name of a Convention.
Madam Moderator, in closing the IFA wishes to reconfirm our commitment to work in partnership with all UN agencies, member states, academia and our members to contribute legitimately and with a strong voice to assure the rights of older people are protected not adequately but fully and in a sustainable manner.
IFA Journal Now Available: Global Ageing - Issues and Action Volume 7. No. 1 - "Dementia" In this issue:
The Globalization of Dementia: Issues and Responses - Monica Ferreira and Jill Adkins, Guest Editors
Is an Alzheimer Plan an Appropriate Response - Francoise Forette and Marie-Anne Brieu. Dementia and its Diagnosis in the United Kingdom - Sally-Marie Bamford and Sally Greengross.
Response to dementia in Less Developed Countries with a Focus on South Africa - Sebastiana Kalula and George Petros Forum -
No Country is Untouched by Dementia ILC Cape Town Declaration on a Global Response to Dementia. Guest Editor: Volume 7.1 - Dementia - Monica Ferreira and Jill Adkins Copy Editor: Varsha Natarajan; Design: Andrew Pullar
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