More than a month after the despicable attack by Hamas terrorists in Israel, we have witnessed with horror the immense human suffering taking place as the conflict unfolds. It is urgent for the international community to take action to prevent further loss of innocent lives whatever their age, religion or ethnicity.
AGE Platform Europe firmly stands against all forms of violence, suffering, and loss of lives and calls on both parties to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.
We join others[i] in calling for an immediate ceasefire so that aid can reach those in need and the hostages can be freed and safely reunited with their loved ones.
Need for stronger, targeted protection
We recall that in times of war, those in the most vulnerable situations, including many older persons are often overlooked. Research conducted by Human Rights Watch and the experience of the war in Ukraine provide ample evidence that older people are particularly exposed to human rights violations during armed conflicts and humanitarian emergencies, often trapped in war zones and cut off from vital resources for survival. As mentioned by the UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons, in the absence of a dedicated instrument on older persons, existing human rights standards, such as those included in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Article 11) should be extended and equally applied to older persons so that no-one is left behind.
In these tragic times, our greatest source of strength as human beings is empathy and solidarity.
We, the older people of the AGE Europe Platform, express our deepest solidarity with all people affected by the war in the Middle East and call for action to ensure that both populations can live in peace and that people in vulnerable situations are not left behind.
AGE Europe Platform will support any initiative aimed at achieving this objective.
- Gaza is ‘running out of time’ UN experts warn, demanding a ceasefire to prevent genocide | OHCHR
- Israel/OPT: Amnesty petition demanding ceasefire to end civilian suffering backed by more than one million signatures
- Statement: ENAR Condemns Europe’s Dehumanising Reactions to the Israel-Palestine Brutality and Calls for Justice and Peace for all – European Network Against Racism (enar-eu.org)
- #CeasefireNow in the Gaza Strip and Israel – HelpAge International
- News (owneurope.org)
- Open Letter: Need for Action – Bring Them Home Now