The EU takes note with appreciation of the Report of Ageism of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons and the policy brief of the Secretary-General on the impact of COVID-19 on older persons of May 2020.
The EU notes that older persons face a number of particular challenges in the enjoyment of their human rights, including in the areas of prevention of and protection against violence, abuse and neglect, social protection and social inclusion, equality and non-discrimination, access to justice, equitable and quality education, lifelong learning and health support.
The EU recognises that ageism intertwines with other forms of isms and grounds of discrimination. The EU will continue to strongly oppose all forms of discrimination including on grounds of sex, race, ethnic or social origin, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, disability, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity. The EU is deeply concerned that older women, who outnumber older men, often face multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination or can be victims of violence, compounded by their gender, age or disability or on other grounds, which affects the enjoyment of their human rights. Work on the prohibition of all forms of discrimination, including multiple and intersecting discrimination, against older persons should be part of the ongoing efforts to ensure comprehensive protection of older persons.
In recent months, the EU MS agreed on Council Conclusions “Human Rights, Participation and Well-Being of Older Persons in the Era of Digitalisation” as well as on Council Conclusions on “Mainstreaming Ageing in Public Policies”, thus putting efforts against discrimination against older persons high on the EU’s agenda.
We call upon all States to adopt and implement non-discriminatory policies, as well as establish effective redress mechanisms and ensure access to justice. We support the active involvement of civil society and the participation of older persons in equal partnership with service users, carers, families and citizens.
As older persons were disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the EU and its member states have put a human-rights based approach to the pandemic at the forefront of our actions. As some pre-existing inequalities in human rights protection persist, it is our task to strengthen our efforts to preserve the dignity, independence and autonomy of this chronically invisible segment of the population.
Madame Independent Expert, in your opinion, what should be the starting point if UN member states were to step up their efforts towards the realization of equality of the rights of older persons?