Rights of older persons: Substantive resolution adopted by UN Council

The Human rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations adopted its first-ever substantive resolution last 7th October 2021. This adoption marks an important step forward in advancing older people’s rights and the fight against ageism and age-based discrimination worldwide.

UNHRC_logoBy this resolution, the Human Rights Council requests the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a report on international legal standards and obligations in relation to the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons ahead of its forty-ninth session in March 2022. 

The HRC resolution reaffirms the obligation of all States to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of older people. It also provides strong agreed language that governments and other stakeholders can refer to and draw upon when considering these issues in their future work on human rights. 

This resolution was adopted by consensus and was co-sponsored by a large number of EU member states. Civil society organisations are encouraged to appeal to the commitment of governments  and encourage them to act on the resolution. 

  •  Read this briefing by the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP) for more details on how to get involved. 


As a follow-up to this resolution, a call for written inputs to inform the development of the above mentioned report has been issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) with the deadline of 6 December. AGE will reply to this call stressing the need for further UN action to protect the rights of older people and calling for a new UN convention. 


AGE logoWe welcome this resolution as it mentions for the first-time ageism and age discrimination as important human rights issues and calls for specific action by states to eliminate ageism in all its forms. 

In addition, the resolution:

  • calls upon all stakeholders, including States, the entities of the UN system, civil society, national human rights institutions, and the private sector to adopt a human-rights based approach in all programmes, campaigns and activities relating to ageing and older persons.
  • asks the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to prepare a report on normative standards and obligations under international law in relation to the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons, to be submitted to the HRC at its 49th session in March 2022, and to make the report available in the six UN official languages and accessible formats.
  • asks the OHCHR to convene a multi-stakeholder meeting, including older persons, to discuss the report and present the conclusions of the meeting to the HRC 51st session in September 2022.

For more information, you may contact Nena Georgantzi, nena.georgantzi@age-platform.eu


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