IACHR Urges Countries To Ratify Convention Protecting Human Rights Of Older People

(CMC) – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has reiterated its call to the countries in the Americas, including the Caribbean, for the universal ratification of the Inter-American Convention on the Protection of the Human Rights of Older Persons.

The call comes as the IACHR Tuesday published its report ” Human Rights of Older Persons and National Protection Systems in the Caribbean,” which is the first to specifically address the human rights of older persons in the region and gives an account of the mechanisms provided by the states to guarantee them.

IACHR said that the report is based on the new paradigm on old age enshrined in the Inter-American Convention on the Protection of Human Rights of Older Persons (CPM), which understands that ageing constitutes another stage in the life cycle of people, valuable and worthy by itself.

It said the new paradigm of active and independent old age means eradicating discrimination based on age, “ageism”. Ageism unfairly restricts the rights of older people, makes their problems invisible and, above all, exposes them to various forms of violence.

For its drafting, the IACHR Rapporteurship on the Rights of Older Persons followed up on progress and challenges regarding the human rights of older persons at the international and inter-American levels.

The information contained in the report was provided by states, civil society organisations and specialists in the field. Among other aspects, the report analyses the recognition of the rights of individuals in the inter-American system, the CPM and the international standards related to human rights that it recognises, national protection systems and the rights of older persons recognised in the CPM and the panorama of national mechanisms, to finally present conclusions and recommendations.

The document gives an account of a series of norms, policies and programmes of the countries to make effective the rights of the elderly. Likewise, it contains positive trends such as that all the states of the Americas have some kind of regulatory instrument aimed at prioritising the human rights of this group and social security programmes that include non-contributory pensions, prioritised forms of care in access to health or implementation of different types of interventions to integrate older people in an intergenerational way.

The report also highlights pending challenges in terms of protection and guarantee of the rights of older people. It emphasises the intersectional discrimination faced by older women, older LGBTI people, people deprived of liberty, and migrant older people; among others.

The IACHR said with this report it intends to start a conversation in the region about the best ways to protect older persons, share successful experiences, and provide tools to states to evaluate and plan their policies on the matter.