Older woman looking through a drawer with files at the workplace
14 Dec 2022

How European NHRIs can contribute to a new UN Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons

A new ENNHRI guidance paper outlines the current approaches towards a new Convention and key recent developments in this regard. It also sets out opportunities for European NHRIs to contribute to this crucial process.

Since the establishment of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) in 2010, discussions have been ongoing on both the need for a new Convention on the Human Rights of Older Persons and its normative elements.

In 2022, interest by a growing number of states in acting on this topic is seen as a breakthrough. This a crucial time for NHRIs to advocate for a new Convention at the national, regional, and international levels.

This advocacy rests on two elements. Firstly, sufficient support must be gained to adopt a decision to establish an Intersessional UN Working Group. This Group would then draft an official UN document on gaps in international law regarding human rights of older persons. Secondly, it must be made clear that this gap analysis requires (and therefore will lead to) a new binding instrument.

The paper explores opportunities for NHRIs to contribute to this advocacy. This includes informing national authorities of recent developments; advising governments on the need for a new binding instrument; advocating for further prioritisation of the human rights of older person at the regional, national and international levels; and cooperating with relevant civil society organisations.

Collectively and individually, NHRIs have supported the development of a new binding instrument, including through common positions reached through ENNHRI. The ENNHRI Core Group on Human Rights of Older Persons serves as an information and co-ordination hub for this advocacy work.

Read the guidance paper and learn about ENNHRI’s work on the human rights of older persons here.