04 May 2020

NHRIs call on states to strengthen human rights of older persons during COVID-19 pandemic

The National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) of Germany and Poland released a joint statement on the need to strengthen human rights of older persons, especially in light of the outbreak of COVID-19.

Older persons remain one of the groups most severely affected by the pandemic, and also face increased social isolation, loneliness and ageist attitudes.

In the statement, the two NHRIs (German Institute for Human Rights and Office of the Polish Commissioner for Human Rights) call on governments to undertake systematic assessments of the needs of older persons during the pandemic to create effective measures that can mitigate and prevent abuse or neglect. They also highlight that states must ensure, among others, effective and practical access to information, accessible and affordable long-term care services, as well as home-care and community-based services without discrimination of any kind.

Suggesting to hold the 11th session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) as soon as possible, the NHRIs also stress the urgent need to commence drafting and adopting a new Convention that would foster better understanding of the scope and meaning of human rights for older persons and therefore facilitate the development of adequate policies to implement them.

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Learn more about European NHRIs’ work on the rights of older persons