Between 2015 and 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, the number of older persons worldwide is set to increase by 56 per cent — from 901 million to more than 1.4 billion. By 2030, the number of people aged 60 and above will exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24.
Ageism is a widely prevalent and prejudicial attitude that stems from the assumption that age discrimination, and sometimes neglect and abuse of older persons is a social norm and therefore, acceptable. It is a reality in some form in all societies, and finds expression in individuals’ attitudes, institutional and policy practices, as well as media representation that devalue and exclude older persons. In 2014, Governments around the world adopted a resolution at the Economic and Social Council that recognized ageism as “the common source of, the justification for and the driving force behind age discrimination.”
On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly (by resolution 45/106) designated 1 October the International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP), which seeks to promote an age inclusive agenda.
The theme of the 2023 commemoration is “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations“.
Seventy-five years ago, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a monumental document in the history of human rights. Written by representatives from around the world with different legal, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, it is the first document articulating the fundamental human rights that are meant to be universally protected.
In recognition of this milestone, and looking to a future that delivers on the promise to ensure that all persons, including all older persons, fully enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms, the 33rd commemoration of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons will focus on the theme of “Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations”. The event will put a spotlight on the specificity of older persons around the world, for the enjoyment of their rights and in addressing violations, and how the strengthening of solidarity through equity and reciprocity between generations offers sustainable solutions to deliver on the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2023 theme aims to:
In the Political Declaration adopted in Madrid, Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, and called for the elimination of age discrimination, neglect, abuse and violence. More specifically, the Madrid International Plan contained guidance on the right to work, the right to health, participation and equality of opportunity throughout life, stressing the importance of the participation of older persons in decision-making processes at all levels.
The priorities set out in the Madrid International Plan of Action include a wide range of issues: equal employment opportunities for all older persons; programmes that enable all workers to acquire social protection and social security, including, where applicable, pensions, disability insurance and health benefits; and sufficient minimum income for all older persons, with particular attention to socially and economically disadvantaged groups. The importance of continuous education, vocational guidance and placement services are also stressed, including for the purpose of maintaining a maximum functional capacity and enhancing public recognition of the productivity and the contributions of older persons. Health is also a key feature of the Madrid Plan of Action. The provisions encompass notions of prevention, equal access to health care, active participation, the impact of HIV/AIDS in respect to older persons and the full functionality of supportive and care-giving environments.
Source : United Nations
Last Modified : 10/1/2023
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