Towards a Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons

Hands of an older person 

In the Americas, people over 60 today constitute about 8% of the population, but it is estimated that by 2050 this group of people will reach to 25%. These people are exposed daily to situations of discrimination, violence, abandonment and stigma. While age is now becoming recognized as a factor of social vulnerability, does not usually appear in express language in the main human rights binding instruments. The Member States of the OAS, through successive resolutions of the OAS General Assembly, have reaffirmed the need to develop an inter-American instrument on the subject. To this end, the Permanent Council has a working group that has prepared an Inter-American draft Convention on Human Rights of Older Persons and in the coming months will be negotiated formally.

The Americas has the opportunity to lead the paradigm shift, establishing the obligations and duties of states to protect and promote the rights of older people, combat discrimination, ensure equality and social inclusion, and recognize the productive role of older people in social, economic and cultural communities. The OAS General Secretariat, through the Department of Social Development and Employment, has the technical secretariat of this process in close coordination with institutions with proven experience in the subject as ECLAC, PAHO and the United Nations, and accompany the process of formal negotiations of a convention with a civil society consultation and a study on the subject.