Kerala Declaration

Declaration from the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People’s
Asia Pacific members workshop

Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 14 November 2019

We make this urgent call from GAROP members in Asia Pacific States to the OEWG on Ageing to accelerate the work relating to the adoption of a new UN convention on the human rights of older people.

As per World Population Ageing 2017 statistics, the global aged population (60+) which was 382 million in 1980 more than doubled itself to 962 million in 2017 and it will again more than double to 2.1 billion in 2050 – more than one-fifth of the global population. The majority of this population is in Asia and will continue to be so in 2050 also.

The Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (the Working Group) was established by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 65/182 in December 2010 for the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons. The Working Group’s mandate was extended by General Assembly Resolution 67/139 in December 2012, which requires the Working Group to present proposals on the main elements of a new international legal instrument to the General Assembly, at the earliest possible date.

We believe that a legally binding UN convention on the rights of older persons is essential for all older people to fully enjoy all their human rights without discrimination on any ground or combination of grounds.

The case for a new UN convention has become stronger with each of the Working Group’s ten sessions to date. The Working Group has now heard ample and convincing evidence of significant failures of existing human rights instruments and procedures to devote adequate attention to older people’s human rights. The fundamental framing elements of a convention continue to take normative shape. However, at the current rate it would take at least several more years to debate all the areas of human rights listed in the report of the 7th session of the Working Group. We older people cannot wait indefinitely for justice.

We therefore underline the urgent need to strengthen the promotion and protection of our rights in this region and world-wide. We call on Member States to ensure that the Working Group fulfils its mandate as a matter of priority, and to support the drafting of a new international instrument to commence no later than 2021. We see no justification for further delays.

The above Declaration is endorsed by the following members of GAROP from the Asia Pacific region:

Ageing Nepal
Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Society-Nepal
Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS), Jordan
Ardager, Kazakhstan
ARGA Foundation, India
Arjon Foundation, Bangladesh
Asia Pacific Forum on Families International (APFAM Int.)
Association for Social Solidarity and Empowerment Training Trust (Asset), India
Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Institute of Geriatric Medicine (BAAIGM)
Bangladesh Model Youth Parliament
Care Rights, South Korea
Centre of Gerontological Studies, India
Console Mission, Nepal
Development Welfare and Research Foundation, India
DOBARA, Hyderabad, India
Ecumenical Commission for Human Development, Pakistan
Elders Clubs International Foundation, India
Forum for the Rights of the Elderly, Bangladesh (FREB)
Free Forum For Rights, Nepal
Gharonda Public Charitable Trust, Pune, India
Gramin VIkas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS), India
HelpAge International
HelpAge Korea
International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA)
Lanka Fundamental Rights Organization, Sri Lanka
Middle East Academy for Medicine of Ageing, Lebanon
Nepal Participatory Action Network (NEPAN)
Nobo Jatra Foundation, Bangladesh
Pahel Pakistan
PROGOTI, Bangladesh
Rajadighi Community Health Service Society
Resource Integration Centre (RIC), Bangladesh
Senior Citizen’s Welfare Association Nepal (SCWAN)
Silver Inning Foundation, India
Shirakat – Partnership for Development, Pakistan
Social Advancement through Unity (SATU), Bangladesh
Society for Community Organization and Rural Education (SCORE), India
The Centre for Elderly Empowerment & Care (Ehsan), Qatar
The Pass It On Network
Women for Human Rights, Nepal

You can download a copy of the Declaration in PDF format here.