Valuing older persons’ contributions and protecting their rights: twofold responsibility of national governments

Brussels, 29 September 2017

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International Day of Older Persons, 1st October 2017

AGE Platform Europe seizes the momentum of the International Day of Older Persons on 1st October to call on EU national governments to use the Madrid International Plan for Action on Ageing (MIPAA) to empower older persons and enable their full potential while respecting their human rights.

Protecting older persons’ human rights and fighting age discrimination are key to strengthen the participation of older persons in social, cultural, economic, civic and political life. Although various legislations address older people’s rights to live a life of dignity and independence, changing demographics combined with the pressure on public budgets are increasing the risk of human rights violations against older persons. Ageist attitudes toward older people persist preventing them from participating and contributing fully to societies.

Adopted in 2002, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) has been the first attempt to link ageing policy to other related social and economic developments and human rights. AGE hopes that EU national governments will fulfil their recent commitment published in the Lisbon Ministerial Declaration to “safeguard older persons’ enjoyment of all human rights as laid down in the relevant international and regional instruments”, and eventually will bring significant improvements to the living conditions of older persons on the ground.

“The MIPAA has the potential to enhance the full spectrum of social, economic, cultural and civic rights of older persons. We encourage our governments to use the complementarity of MIPAA and other relevant frameworks, in particular the United Nations Open Ended Working Group on ageing, to uphold all these rights”, stressed Ebbe Johansen, AGE President at the occasion of the Ministerial Conference on Ageing held on 21-22 September 2017 in Lisbon. Mr Johansen reiterated AGE’s call for establishing a binding legal instrument, such as an international UN convention on the rights of older persons.

‘Age-based discrimination affects all ages and therefore we need to join our forces, the young and the old, to promote an intergenerational vision of ageing’, concluded AGE President thanking the European Youth Forum for their support on the call for an international convention on the rights of older persons.

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