Respect older people’s human rights: Time for political will and social activism!

Brussels, 28 April 2017

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AGE Annual Conference and General Assembly 2017, 7-9 June 2017

Older people together with their organisations need to stand together to combat the persisting ageism and age discrimination to enhance social justice within and between generations.

Ageism – the systematic discrimination of persons on the ground of their age – in its various forms ranging from, stereotypes, prejudices to mistreatment and abuse is widely widespread and to be a major obstacle to inclusion and equal participation of older persons in society.

In the conclusions of AGE Platform Europe’s Annual Conference « Inequalities and abuse in old age: Time to Act! » held in Brussels on 7 June, around 100 representatives of older people’s organisations, European institutions, academia and civil society pledged in favour of strengthening the protection of older persons under human rights law. While historically neglected, older persons deserve legal protection enjoyed by any other population or age group and their rights should be realised and enforced in Europe and globally.

“The enjoyment of human rights can’t be achieved without a strong legal instrument as well as strong political will and social activism”, insisted Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary-General.

Action needs now to be taken at national and EU levels both to ensure the effective implementation of existing legislations as the EU Equal Treatment Directive on employment, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or policy instruments as the Madrid Action Plan on Ageing – MIPAA, and to consider the opportunity for further legal instruments specifically addressing older persons, such as a new United Nations (UN) treaty.

The following day, AGE members gathered in the General Assembly adopted a new 4-year strategic plan 2018-2021 and a final declaration, recalling that the respect and enjoyment of one’s human rights is a fundamental basis of democratic societies.

The new elected AGE President, Ebbe Johansen, DaneAge – Aeldresagen (DK), called for joint efforts within the older people’s movement to take an active part in the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

“We support the Pillar and want it to translate into practicing the rights to affordable and quality health and long-term care, but also to adequate pensions and minimum old-age income so that people can age in dignity” concluded AGE President.

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