The Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG), the main United Nations’ forum where the rights of older people are discussed, will concentrate its 11th session on issues of access to justice and access to the labour market. We are now asking all our member organisations and partners to help us gather information on the barriers that older people face in those areas of rights.
What do we mean by access to justice?
Access to justice means being able to get a fair solution to a justice problem you have. Examples of justice problems include:
- disputes over land or property
- family disputes like divorce and inheritance
- problems at work such as being unfairly dismissed
- problems with money and debt, or as a consumer
- difficulties in accessing public services like healthcare or pensions that you are entitled to being the victim of violence, crime or discrimination.
Getting a fair solution may involve using the courts but it may also involve other ways of resolving disputes outside the courts, for example through mediation or contacting an ombudsperson. To have access to justice, people must be empowered and supported to take action when they have a justice problem. They must be able to access services that treat them fairly and respond to their needs, and they must get a fair solution that is in line with the human rights standards.
To learn more on the right to access justice in older age you may hear the recording of the webinar of the the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) and read the notes and presentations here
What do we mean by the right to work and access to the labour market?
The right to work and access to the labour market means everyone has the opportunity to make a living from work which they freely choose. It includes safe and fair conditions at work, access to training and a wage that is enough for an adequate standard of living for the worker and their family. It also includes the right not to be unfairly denied work.
To learn more on the right to access justice in older age you may hear the recording of the GAROP webinar and read the notes and presentations, here(add link once available)
How can you contribute?
The United Nations has now opened its call for written contributions for the 11th session of the OEWG that will take place in April 2020.
The new areas of rights that will be discussed are:
- Access to Justice
- Access to the Right to Work and Access to the Labour Market in Older Age
> Organisations that are accredited to the OEWG can submit their own written responses on these themes directly to the UN by 31st October 2019. If you want to find out more about accreditation to the OEWG, see here.
> If your organisation is not yet accredited to the OEWG, you can still contribute to the discussion by sending your input to AGE so that information from your country is included in our written response to the UN. Additionally, you can work in your country and try to inform and influence your government and National Human Rights Institutions’ written inputs to the OEWG.
Do you want to help AGE prepare our input to the OEWG?
There are two ways to do so.
Send us testimonies! Have you personally experienced barriers in access to justice or the labour market? If so let us know, answering the questions here.
Share examples of structural problems in your country! Give us your opinion about the main issues facing older people in access to justice and the labour market answering these questions.
Feel free to respond to only one of the above themes (access to justice and/or the labour market) or part of the call (only testimonies or only structural issues)
Some more ideas, tips and resources
> Do not hesitate to translate this newsflash to ask for responses and testimonies to your own individual members
> Liaise with the equality body or human right institution in your country to prepare common answers and/or gather caselaw or further evidence
> You may want to organise focus groups with older people in your country to collect real life stories on older people’s access to justice and the labour market. If you would like to have more information and support about how to organise such meetings, participatory tools and questions you can use, please contact Nena Georgantzi : firstname.lastname@example.org
30th September 2019: Deadline for contributions to AGE submission to the OEWG
31st October 2019: Deadline for submissions to the UN OEWG for accredited NGOs
6-9 April 2020: 11th session of the UN OEWG in New York
Do you want to learn more about the OEWG?
Check out these resources: