The Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP) steps up support to the Age With Rights campaign for a new UN convention on the rights of older persons.’

On the United Nations International Day of Older Persons 2022 (UNIDOP 2022) we recognise the resilience of older persons around the world and celebrate those older people campaigning for their rights.

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Due to ageism and age discrimination older people around the world already face particular challenges in claiming their rights and are affected disproportionately and in distinct ways by crises, such as conflicts and the COVID-19 pandemic. Older people in these crisis situations are disadvantaged by the exacerbation of existing inequalities and severe violations of their rights. The fact that the current international human rights system continues to fail them[1] puts them at even greater risk of human rights violations.

In the face of these difficulties and the increasingly damaging effects of climate change and related extreme weather events, older people show remarkable resilience. Older people, particularly those with disabilities and those living in poverty are uniquely vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change and face additional barriers. Despite this, older people are often invisible in disaster response from data collection and decision-making through to inclusion in humanitarian support[2].

Recognising the contributions and resilience of older people in the context of such challenges is vital. It is also essential to strengthen the promotion and protection of the human rights of all older people to ensure that we can all age with rights in this changing world. We celebrate the older people around the world campaigning tirelessly for their rights to be better protected by a new legally binding UN convention on the rights of older people.

Earlier this year, the first Age With Rights Global Rally took place with hundreds of people participating in campaign activities in over 30 countries. Thousands more supported the campaign on social media, which reached over 4 million people in the run-up to the annual UN meeting on older people’s rights in New York in April 2022[3]. Greater civil society mobilisation of this kind is vital to strengthen our call for a new UN convention.

Margaret Young, GAROP Steering Group member, says ‘We are excited about the impact that our Age With Rights campaign has had so far and look forward to seeing it grow from strength to strength. Greater community level mobilisation and building new partnerships to address intersecting discrimination will be key priorities for the campaign in the coming months. We call on civil society and other partners to join and support our global movement.’


[2] Missing millions: How older people with disabilities are excluded from humanitarian response – World | ReliefWeb

[3] Twelfth Session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons