Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing beyond 2017: Uphold the full spectrum of civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights of older persons!

Brussels, 20 September 2017

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AGE Platform Europe (AGE) together with other NGOs gathered at the civil society forum held on 20 September 2017 on the eve of the UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing in Lisbon to call on national governments to use the Madrid Plan over the next five years to enhance the protection of older people’s human rights in view of improving their economic and social participation in society.

The renewal of governments’ MIPAA commitments should build on the latest developments in the UN Open Ended Working Group on ageing (OEWG) on how to improve the protection of older people’s rights on the ground. “While the OEWG has an exclusive mandate to promote the respect of the rights of older persons, the MIPAA provides a comprehensive policy framework on ageing based on human rights. Both processes are complementary and older people should be given opportunities to contribute to these key policy developments” insisted Heidrun Mollenkopf, AGE Vice President in the panel discussing the added value of policy frameworks for the improvement of the living situation of older persons.

In the context of austerity measures over the last years, older people in Europe face growing challenges with regard to adequacy of income for a dignified life; equal access to employment with support of life-long learning; or to affordable and quality health and long-term care. Persisting ageism also prevents older people from access to goods and services.

“We witness a gap between what governments think they are delivering and the real-life experiences of older people in those countries and therefore would like to reiterate our support to the recommendation by the UN Independent Expert on the rights of older persons, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte for establishing a binding legal instrument”, added Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General. “We hope that at tomorrow’s ministerial conference our governments will commit to promote intergenerational solidarity to highlight the important societal value of older people. They should also challenge pervasive negative old-age stereotypes”, concluded Ebbe Johansen, AGE President.

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