Press Release

IACHR and IPPDH Jointly Organize Activities to Raise Awareness of the Issue of Older People

August 9, 2018

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Mercosur Institute for Public Policies on Human Rights (IPPDH for its acronym in Spanish) carried out activities on July 26, 2018, aimed at strengthening knowledge of the human rights situation of older people in the region and promoting the universalization of the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Rights of Older Persons.

Within this framework, the IACHR and the IPPDH jointly organized a panel on "Good practices and challenges in public policies on the human rights of the elderly," with the participation of Paulo Abrão, Executive Secretary of the IACHR, and Juan Miguel Gonzalez Bibolini, Executive Secretary of the IPPDH, who opened the inaugural panel discussion.

Panelists included representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, as well as representatives from the Pan American Health Organization and the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care.

On the occasion, the publication "Older persons: towards a regional rights agenda" was also launched. It was prepared as an initiative of the Permanent Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Older Persons of the Meeting of Senior Human Rights Authorities and Foreign Ministries of MERCOSUR and Associated States (RAADH), under the coordination and compilation of the IPPDH.

Finally, the IACHR and the IPPDH jointly launched the photographic exhibition "Living with Dignity", which represents an effort to make visible the right of older persons to live free from all forms of discrimination and violence, and which was available in the main building of the OAS until August 6, 2018.

The IACHR's Unit on the Rights of the Elderly values the interest of States and civil society in participating in a frank dialogue on progress and challenges in public policy for the full and effective enjoyment of the human rights of older persons at the regional level. It also highlights the need to continue to move towards universal ratification of the Inter-American Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Older Persons and its progressive and effective implementation, in conjunction with a hemispheric agenda that also guarantees compliance with sustainable goals and Agenda 2030 to “not leave older people behind.”

In this regard, Commissioner Flavia Piovesan, in charge of the IACHR's Unit on the Rights of the Elderly, indicated that "the protection of the human rights of older persons must be at the top of the agenda of all States and of the entire region, since ageing is a global reality that must be urgently addressed, ensuring respect, dignity, autonomy, participation and the full inclusion of older persons".

For his part, Paulo Abrao, Executive Secretary of the IACHR, mentioned that "the IACHR is attending to the historical debt of the Inter-American Human Rights System in the area of aging, and we will continue to identify spaces for inter-institutional cooperation to unite efforts to promote the issue in the region".

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 175/18