About the Project

© The Green House Project, used with permission

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing”
George Bernard Shaw

In January 2015, ENNHRI commenced an EU-funded project named The Human Rights of Older Persons and Long-term Care. Running until the end of 2017, the aim of the project is to improve the human rights protection of older persons in long-term care, with particular emphasis on residential care. The project comes at a critical time, considering Europe’s changing demography and the ongoing developments in the international human rights framework. Indeed, the project is an innovative example of bringing European NHRIs together to address the life experiences of a large section of our society that is so often hidden from view.

The project is funded by the European Union - European Commission - DG Employment.


  • Describe the human rights situation of older persons in long-term care, in Europe.
  • Introduce a human-rights based approach to the LTC sector.
  • Support NHRIs to carry out monitoring work in LTC, and increase recognition of their role in this area.
    The project also aims at strengthening the capacity of NHRIs to monitor and support human rights policies for older persons.


The project has three main phases:

  1. Desk-based research on the human rights standards relevant to older persons in long term care, and a human rights based approach to care;
  2. Monitoring of the human rights situation of older persons in long-term care in six representative EU Member States;
  3. Awareness-raising of a human rights based approach to care, and the Project.

Monitoring the Human Rights Situation in LTC in Europe

  • Six NHRIs from Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania and Romania are monitoring residential LTC in their countries to build a picture of how human rights legislation is taken into account when planning and delivering services.
  • The monitoring teams will also review legislation and policies, interview government officials and other stakeholders to ensure policy planning at the national/regional level also takes account of the state’s human rights obligations.

Increasing awareness of the human rights of older persons in or seeking LTC

  • Human rights legislation can often seem daunting to LTC managers, staff and policy makers alike. ENNHRI is developing resources on the human rights standards/legislation relevant to LTC and how to put it into practice – through a human rights-based approach.