Brussels, 1st October 2013
International Day of Older Persons
We need a EU multi-stakeholder dialogue group on older people’s rights to support EU’s commitment and improve action coherence
On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, AGE welcomes the establishment of the UN Independent Expert on the Rights of Older Persons and calls on the EU to create a more effective mechanism to promote and protect the rights of older persons, by setting up an EU multi-stakeholder dialogue group.
This year, the international Day of older persons, celebrated on the 1st October, highlights theincreasingly critical role played by older people in our fast ageing world and the importance of fostering their participation in society. This last point is supported by article 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, proclaiming the rights of older people to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life.
However, “despite a number of age-friendly policies and regular reporting on the situation of fundamental rights, the EU still lacks a rights-based and better coordinated approach in order to effectively promote and defend older people’s human rights at various levels”, said Marjan Sedmak, AGE President.
AGE Platform Europe is therefore seizing the momentum offered by the International Day of Older Persons to send a letter drawing the attention of the EU and its Member States to what they can do to allow older people to become full actors of society calling for the establishment of a EU multi-stakeholder dialogue group to discuss the rights of older people. This dialogue group would enable the EU to live up to its commitment to protect the rights of all citizens, to bring the EU closer to its citizens, to increase its transparency and to improve the coherence between its external and internal action. It would bring together different EC services, EP committees and the EP Intergroup on Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity, Council Working Parties, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), the European External Action Service (EEAS), experts on the rights of older people, National Human Rights Institutions, as well as seniors’ representatives.
This EU multistakeholders dialogue group couldaddress the invisibility older persons face in human rights policymaking and cooperate with the future independent expert on the human rights of older people whose position has just been adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. The three-year mandate of the independent expert includes assessing good practice and gaps in how existing human rights law is being implemented in terms of older people’s rights, as well as raising awareness of the challenges older people face in relation to their rights.
“The EU has a key role to support the work of the independent expert and UN Human Rights Council and make sure synergies are built at EU and global levels”, concluded Anne-Sophie Parent, Secretary General.
More information on:
- UN International Day of Older Persons:https://undesadspd.org/Ageing/InternationalDayofOlderPersons.aspx
- AGE work on non discrimination and human rights: www.age-platform.eu/age-policy-work/anti-discrimination
- Link to AGE letter to the EU: www.age-platform.eu/images/stories/AGE_letter_for_International_Day_of__Older_Persons_2013.pdf