Statement to Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Human Rights Watch

August 29-30, 2022

Session 4: Towards strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons

Human Rights Watch welcomes this discussion on the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on normative standards and obligations under international law, which concluded that “the current international framework provides fragmented and inconsistent coverage of the human rights of older persons in law and practice”.

Our own research has shown this fragmented and inconsistent protection in relation to rights in situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies and the right to live independently within the community, rights that are guaranteed to older persons with disabilities under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities but not to all older persons.

We welcome the informal contribution by Argentina, Slovenia and other Member States on the elements that should be in a new convention and agree that “Member States, in collaboration with civil society, NHRIs, the UN and older persons themselves must find a way to address these gaps and inconsistencies through an international legal instrument”.

To this end, we urge the Human Rights Council to establish a working group with a mandate to discuss these elements and elaborate an international legally binding instrument to protect and promote the human rights of older persons.

Anything less would only perpetuate the human rights protection gaps that have been so clearly articulated in this room over the last two days.

Public Release. More on this here.