On 13th March, the UN Human Rights Council appointed Dr. Claudia Mahler as the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons. The special procedures of the Human Rights Council are independent human rights experts with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. Claudia Mahler will replace Rosa Kornfeld-Matte of Chile who held this mandate since 2014 when it was first created.
Claudia Mahler is from Austria and has been working for the German Institute for Human Rights as a senior researcher in the field of economic, social and cultural rights since 2010. She has been a member of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) working group on the rights of older persons since it was founded and is currently the Vice Chair. She has previously conducted research on human rights and related issues at the Human Rights Centre of the University of Potsdam where her main research fields were human rights education, minority rights and the law of asylum. She has also worked as a lecturer and as a consultant to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
Claudia Mahler’s appointment is warmly welcomed by the Steering Group of the Global Alliance of the Rights of Older People (GAROP). GAROP Chair, Ken Bluestone, said ‘We are delighted that Claudia will bring such a wealth of expertise and knowledge to this important mandate. The ongoing international discussions on the human rights of older persons, particularly in the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, will be greatly enriched by Claudia’s participation as the Independent Expert. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Claudia in this role and connect her with our members in the countries she will visit.’
During her time as UN Independent Expert, Rosa Kornfeld-Matte visited ten countries and published a range of reports on issues such as the implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, care and autonomy, older people in emergencies, and social exclusion. She has also played a constructive role in the discussions in the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing since 2014. Ken Bluestone, Chair of GAROP, said ‘We congratulate Rosa for her many achievements over the past six years and recognise the significant contributions she has made to strengthening the protection of older persons’ rights in countries around the world.’
- For more information about the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons visit the official website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) here.
- For more information about the Special Procedures overall visit the official website of the OHCHR here.