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Normative gaps in international law concerning the Human Rights of older persons.

Großbritannien - 24.05.2012

A research brief Age UK has a vision of a world in which older people flourish. This is a world in which older people will: be equal citizens with equal rights have enough money for a secure and decent life, and have access as consumers to the products and services they need at a price they can afford have access to the healthcare and social care they need have the opportunity to live healthier longer lives and to enjoy a sense of well-being live in homes and neighbourhoods that are safe and comfortable and which enable them to lead fulfilling lives have opportunities to participate and contribute as volunteers, active citizens, good neighbours, family members, and workers enjoy the benefits of longer life, wherever they are in the world.

We will achieve this vision by influencing others to create transformational change to improve the lives of older people today and tomorrow. A key element of our influencing work is the evidence base we use to increase our knowledge and develop our policy positions. We fund, commission and work in partnership with independent, authoritative researchers to develop robust evidence which will lead to improved later life for all. Background International human rights laws do not take the rights of older people adequately into account. Under existing international human rights conventions and standards, older people are largely invisible within the texts of the documents. Governments that have signed up to these standards have not applied these human rights instruments to address the specific challenges and needs facing people as they grow older. Age UK believes that a specific and unique Convention on the Rights of Older Persons is necessary to strengthen the rights of older people globally. A global standard such as a Convention provides clarity and guidance for Member State governments and a strong advocacy tool for civil society to engage with policy makers on the rights of older people.

An international discussion on how to strengthen the rights of older people is currently taking place in the UN through a process called the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG). The continuation of the OEWG is not guaranteed and depends in part on Member States feeling the discussions are constructive and informative. Providing substantive evidence to the group can help stimulate a more constructive debate and incentivise Member States to stay at the table.

UN Member States have queried whether there is sufficient clarity on what normative gaps there are that require the creation of a new international human rights instrument such as a Convention. Providing evidence that existing human rights instruments are not sufficient can help encourage continued constructive engagement through the OEWG.

Rationale for study Bringing a UN human rights convention into being is a long-term process. The OEWG is a key part of building greater understanding and support for a Convention amongst Member States. This study is intended to provide substantive input into the global discussion on the rights of older persons taking place in the OEWG. Introducing evidence about normative gaps under current international human rights legislation will help encourage continued constructive debate in the OEWG.

Age UK is working as part of an international collaborative effort to work towards a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Strengthening UN Member States discussions through the OEWG is an important part of making this happen.

Aim of the study
Improved understanding of the nature and scope of normative and implementation gaps in existing human rights instruments as they relate to the rights of older people.
While the scope of the study is limited to specific themes, it is intended to act as a catalyst for a more comprehensive analysis.

Specific Objectives:
1. To determine the degree to which there are normative gaps in international human rights instruments as they relate to the rights of older people

2. To identify and catalogue implementation gaps associated with the specific application of international human rights instruments as they relate to older people.

Parameters of the Research
The research will be a legal analysis of the core international human rights treaties, including the General Recommendations and Comments that provide guidance on their application, that have relevance for the human rights of people in later life.
The scope of the study will be global, but not comprehensive from a country perspective. Country-level and regional examples will punctuate the research as illustrations.

Non-binding "soft law" documents such as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the United Nations Principles for Older Persons will be recognised as formative documents that Member States have used in the development of their policies. The degree to which the analysis will include these documents will depend on the definitions established by the research team.

The research will focus on three issue areas, but could limit itself to one or two if time does not permit:
o Legal Capacity, competence and guardianship
o Age Discrimination and ageism
o Elder Abuse and neglect

The research study is a collaborative effort led by Age UK, supported by HelpAge International and the International Federation on Ageing (IFA).
The analysis will be carried out by an international legal research team (see below for greater detail) and will be structured along the following lines:

1. Initial Framing Analysis – Robin Allen QC (Team Leader) will produce short analysis papers that will help frame the legal research and act as an initial stimulus for discussion.

2. Issue analysis:
a. An initial written analysis of the international human rights treaties will be produced by the lead author as a starting point for the legal research team’s interrogation of the international human rights legislation.
b. The legal research team members will provide a written response to be shared between the team.
c. Video conference meeting1 will allow for real-time discussion of the analyses to draw out common views and differences regarding normative gaps and better understand implementation gap challenges that exist.
d. Lead author will redraft analysis based on video conference discussion and share with legal research team.
e. Final video conference will agree analysis of international legislation for this issue area.

3. Lead author will write up the results of the legal research team’s deliberations and analysis.

4. Team leader will draft final conclusions and recommendations.
NB: The number of issues to be addressed will be dependent on the amount of time available for bringing together members of the research team. Research Team The study will work through a legal research team that will include elder law and human rights experts. These roles are outlined briefly below. The Team Leader is an internationally recognised and respected jurist with the highest legal research credentials whose role is:
o to provide intellectual leadership
o to ensure the methodological rigour of the research and analysis
o to take responsibility for authoring the conclusions and recommendations for the report.

The Lead Author will be responsible for drafting the initial analysis and will draft the final report. The Research Team comprising up to 6 legal and human rights experts: will have knowledge of human rights treaties and practical experience of working to apply legal standards to help older people to realise their rights will come from different regions from around the globe, for example: Europe, North America, Africa, Latin America, Asia. The intention is not to be comprehensive, but to ensure legal and human rights experience from a variety of political, economic, social and cultural contexts. will have access to a capital city or major centre where Cisco has an office (local travel will not be paid for under the contract) may specialise in a relevant theme area will include experts in the field of ageing with a specific interest in human rights will agree to being publicly associated with the research research team members can be supported by students working on a voluntary basis

Research Management Ken Bluestone, Age UK Advisory /

Steering Committee: Bridget Sleap, HelpAge International; Jane Barratt, IFA; Israel (Issi) Doron, IFA/INPEA.

Knowledge Transfer The final output of the research will be a report that will include the following content:
1 Video conferencing facilities will be provided by CISCO.

Identification of human rights that are relevant for people in later life in the themes identified Catalogue of normative gaps organised by human rights issues identified and international human rights treaties analysed, with specific geographic examples where illustrative of these gaps Catalogue of implementation gaps that were identified through the analysis of normative gaps Conclusions and recommendations giving a legal opinion on the relevance of a Convention for strengthening the international human rights system for older people in the areas analysed.

Methods of dissemination
The report will be used as evidence to be submitted to the OEWG.

Age UK will work with and through the following stakeholders to disseminate the research to UN Member States and participants in the OEWG in advance of its

August 2012 meeting:
The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People UN DESA & OHCHR that are jointly providing the Secretariat for the OEWG HelpAge International Network Affiliates Age Platform Europe Members

The research programme will begin by end of April and deliver a final product by end of July, in time for dissemination to Open-ended Working Group delegates before the August 2012 meeting.

The research will be carried out within the following budget:

Lead Author: In the region of £4,000. Research Team

Members: In the region of £1,500 per person.
No travel is anticipated as part of the research and all incidental costs for taking part in the research will be met by the participating consultants.

The deadline for receiving expressions of interest was Monday 16 April 2012.

Link: http://www.ifa-fiv.org/
Quelle: ifa, 18.5.2012