UN Independent Expert calls on everyone to stand up for their human rights in older age!

UN Independent Expert calls on everyone to stand up for their human rights in older age!

On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, Ms. Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons, shows her support for the #AgeingEqual campaign and calls on everyone to take action to fight ageism.

Ageism is a form of abuse that is largely ignored by society although it is a very common phenomenon. It is driven by negative stereotypes about older persons and the lack of acknowledgement of their contributions and untapped potential. In my work as UN Independent Expert I have observed that ageism is pervasive in all aspects of policy planning and implementation and often leads to the marginalisation and exclusion of older persons. It affects all aspects of their lives but it is particularly prevalent in care settings, where it underpins degrading and abusive practices. It does not only impede their full inclusion in society, but also undermines older persons’ autonomy and self-esteem, gradually leading to their disempowerment.

Unlike other forms of discrimination, ageism is socially accepted and usually unchallenged, because of the subconscious internalisation of ageist prejudices. It is therefore very important to raise consciousness of ageism, its causes, manifestations and negative effects. In this regard, initiatives like the “Ageing Equal” campaign are very timely and important.

On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I call on everyone to stand up for their human rights in older age!

Rosa Kornfeld Matte, UN Independent Expert on the Enjoyment of all Human Rights by Older Persons

 

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