Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI)

Human Rights of Older Persons

The OAS Member States, through successive resolutions of the General Assembly since the year 2009, have reaffirmed the need for an inter-American instrument to protect the rights of the elderly. To this end, a Working Group has been established under the Permanent Council of the OAS which has conducted a diagnostic report on the situation of older people on the Continent, and the effectiveness of existing binding universal and regional instruments for the protection of their rights.

The report highlights important figures showing that the current population of people over 60 years in the Americas is approximately 106 million, and by 2050 it will increase to 310 million, which will have a major impact on the economies of Member States. The American States have also highlighted the need to develop standards and more specific regional technical rules on areas of human rights to encompass specific policies, and plans to achieve effective protection of the elderly.  

The Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, through the Department of Social Inclusion, functions as a technical secretariat of the Working Group, in close coordination with institutions of proven experience in the field (such as ECLAC, PAHO, UN-DESA and UNFPA) and contributes to the process, together with civil society and member states on initiatives towards disseminating and raising awareness of the importance of the issue, as well as the promotion of good public policies for the protection of human rights of older persons.


To promote the social inclusion of older people, with a vision of the older person as a contributor to the development of member states and a subject of rights, with a focus on intergenerational solidarity.

The specific objectives of the Department in this issue include:         

·  Provide technical assistance, as Technical Secretariat, the Working Group on the Protection of Human Rights of Older Persons of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, pursuant to the mandate of resolutions AG/RES 2654 (XLI-O/11) and AG/RES. 2726 (XLII-O/12)

·  Promote the mainstreaming the issue in the areas of work of the Organization ·        

·  Promote regional cooperation by identifying best practices for designing public policies addressing the specific needs of older people and encouraging their active participation in the development process within Member States, in the context of both regional and universal instruments on human rights as well as creating institutional synergies among international and national stakeholders across civil society and academia