The COVID-19 reveals violations of older people’s human rights, new AGE report says


Brussels, Belgium – 19 May 2020

Read this statement in pdf version

Lire le communiqué en français

COVID-19_&_human_rights_concerns_for_older_persons-April20-cover-croppedOn Tuesday 19th May, AGE releases the second version of its report on COVID-19 and human rights concerns for older people. The report refers both to alarming situations and promising practices for respecting older people’s human rights.

This new version provides updates with regards to:

  • risks to the right to health, including mental health and palliative care,
  • how digital exclusion adversely impacts older people’s opportunities for social contact and access to information, medical and other essential goods and services,
  • the increased risk of violence and abuse during the lockdown,
  • the specific challenges faced by older people in residential settings, those who live alone and those who receive care at home.

The report has also been enriched with new insights about the multiple disadvantage faced by older women, older LGBTI people and older Roma people. Finally, it includes some recommendations useful for policy makers, service providers, and the media.

This report sheds light on gaps that existed prior to COVID-19 and which have been exacerbated during the pandemic. Older people are systematically left behind in decisions about service allocation, medical treatment, prioritisation of needs and resources. Our response to COVID-19 must value older persons as rights holders on an equal basis with others – a prerequisite for full participation in our societies. As mentioned by the UN Secretary General, we need stronger legal frameworks at national and international level to protect human rights in old age and to create fairer societies.”

Ebbe Johansen, President of AGE Platform Europe (AGE)

This report has been prepared with input from AGE member organisations and external experts. Quotes from AGE member organisations can be found directly in the report.

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Useful links

For more information, please contact

> Estelle Huchet
Campaign Officer
skype: estelle-huchet

> Nena Georgantzi
Human Rights Coordinator

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