Tools to protect a life that is worth living
Older people are rights holders and are entitled to the full enjoyment of their rights, irrespective of age or dependency. Yet, the stereotypical perception of later life often hinders older persons to make choices for themselves to live the life they want. A blogpost by Dr Marita O’Brien
“The concept of a life worth living and the real opportunities for action, directly affect our perception of a just society. In order to create an understanding of a fair and good life, we need to discuss with older people: life, inclusion, what they see as their most important abilities and the obstacles to activating these abilities”
Participant in Two Moons Finnish focus group
This observation encompasses what should guide policy and practice for ageing equally, not a particular conception of old age. The protection offered by human rights instruments are only effective if older persons, policy makers and practitioners know what these rights should look like in practice and their relevance to the person’s day to day life.
Educating and making older people aware of their rights under instruments like the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities can empower them to take action such as challenge discrimination, insist on making their own decisions and demand the supports they need to live with dignity.
The Two Moons project is doing just this. It is developing a number of education resources to raise awareness of human rights as protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nation Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
My Human Rights, My Wellbeing booklet is one such resource. Older people from Finland, Ireland, Italy and Romania, who have experienced breaches to their human rights, share their stories. The booklet also outlines actions older people can take if they feel their human rights are not being upheld. Other resources being developed include a documentary theatre and talkback script and handbook for hosting the documentary theatre and audios of monologues for workshops and community radio.
Dr Marita O’Brien is project coordinator of Two Moons, an Erasmus+ funded project, aimed at developing education resources to inform and enhance older persons’ knowledge of their human rights. See https://twomoons.eu/ for updates on the project.