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UN Rights Body Should Take Steps to Address Protection Gaps for Rights of Older Persons

HRW Statement - Item 3 General Debate - HRC52

Thank you Mr. President

Human Rights Watch shares concern with the finding of the Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Human Rights of Older Persons that the current international framework provides “fragmented and inconsistent coverage of the human rights of older persons in law and practice.”

In 2022, Human Rights Watch documented serious rights abuses against older persons in South Africa and Spain, where government social security grants fall short of what is required for an adequate standard of living. In Australia, authorities failed to take effective steps to protect older persons at risk from foreseeable harm of catastrophic flooding. And in Ukraine, Russian forces threatened older persons with summary execution and arbitrarily detained them.

The Human Rights Council should not delay in responding to recommendations made by the Multi-stakeholder Meeting and should establish a working group to develop elements of a legally binding instrument on the human rights of older persons to address the protection gaps in the existing framework.

Failure to act now, in the face of widespread evidence, would be an abrogation of the Council’s responsibilities.

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