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Rights of Older People

The development of a treaty on the rights of older persons is relevant to WNUSP because of the need to conserve the gains made in the CRPD in recognizing the right to legal capacity and the right to live in the community in a living arrangement of one’s own choice.  Older persons with dementia and other disabilities are sometimes placed in psychiatric institutions and are commonly drugged against their will and placed in locked units of some kind and deprived of their liberty.

older persons

Our international representative, Tina Minkowitz, participated in an expert meeting as a representative of the International Disability Alliance last May, where she was able to persuade UN staff and a number of NGO representatives that a new treaty must uphold the CRPD standards, and she continues to attend the open meetings.

Unexpectedly she learned at the end of March that a parallel process in the Organization of American States, was drafting a regional treaty, was in the final stages and the text was contrary to CRPD Articles 12, 14 and 19.  Working with other NGOs including IDA, Human Rights Watch and the Peruvian SODIS, she may have succeeded in changing the text to reflect the CRPD.  In addition, through meetings in Geneva, she learned that an OHCHR consultation was being held on this topic and submitted a paper.

Strengthening the Rights of Older People is a useful document for background information.

Human Rights and Older Persons WNUSP and CHRUSP 2012 and its relevance to the CRPD

In July 2013, WNUSP and CHRUSP submitted to United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) a submission for a meeting to be held in August 2013 regarding the rights of older persons. The submission can be downloaded here: WNUSP and CHRUSP Submission on Older Persons July 2013

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