Commissioner for Human Rights

The Joint Statement for the upcoming 11th Session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group of Ageing (OEWGA, 29th of March - 1st of April)


Polish and Georgian National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) – the Commissioner for Human Rights of Poland and the Public Defender of Georgia invited Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and NHRIs form all over the World to support their joint statement on the protection of the rights of older persons for the upcoming 11th Session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group of Ageing (OEWGA, 29th of March - 1st of April) (please find the statement below)

The Joint Statement has been signed by 51 Signatories (within a week)

The key messages of the statement are as follows:

Our institutions and organizations are of the firm view that a comprehensive, binding international instrument would provide the strongest protection for the rights of older persons & it is time for the UN OEWGA to formally decide to commence the drafting of a new international instrument.

The discussion on the need for preparing and adopting a new convention on the rights of older persons has been going on for over ten years at the UN level. The impact of the Covid -19 pandemic on older persons is devastating and therefore we need stronger advocacy for better protection of the rights of older persons. The joint statement has been prepared in consultation with experts from different NHRIs and CSOs. We are grateful for their excellent inputs. It has been based on a part of joint Polish and German NHRIs statements to OEWGA in previous years.

The decision on the way forward might be made soon - the upcoming 11th Session of the UN OEWGA is a unique opportunity for this. Thus, we need to seize the moment and act now.

Please share the link among your networks, decision makers and/or social media. We express our hope that the joint efforts of all Signatories and other partners will bring the change we ask for.

We believe that in this debate the voices of European states are crucial. Only a few of them have engaged so far. For that reason, we sent the joint statement with the cover letter - signed by 28 European NHRIs and CSO - ahead of the Session to relevant representatives of European governments and the European Commission to call them for action.

For more information please visit:

As well as the OEWGA web page There are plenty of useful merit materials - on the previous inputs on thematic areas, the legal gaps in protection of the rights of older persons, ageism, and the role of EU in this debate.

The list of Signatories:

National Human Rights Institutions of A Status

  1. Croatia – Ombudswoman
  2. El Salvador - Procuraduría Para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos
  3. Georgia - Public Defender of Georgia
  4. Germany - German Institute for Human Rights
  5. Netherlands - The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights
  6. Philippines - Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines
  7. Poland - Commissioner for Human Rights
  8. Serbia - Protector of Citizens of the Republic of Serbia
  9. Slovenia - the Human Rights Ombudsman
  10. Ukraine - Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights
  11. United Kingdom - Equality and Human Rights Commission

National Human Rights Institutions of other Status

  1. Belgium - Unia (Interfederal Centre for Equal Opportunities) – B status
  2. Romania - Romanian Institute for Human Rights – seeking accreditation in GANHRI
  3. Slovakia - Slovak National Centre for Human Rights – B status

Civil Society Organizations accredited to OEWGA

  1. Bangladesh - Resource Integration Centre (RIC)
  2. Belgium/EU - AGE Platform Europe
  3. Germany - HelpAge Deutschland
  4. India - Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS)
  5. India – HelpAge India
  6. Ireland - Age Action Ireland
  7. Liberia - Center for Community Advancement and Family Empowerment (CECAFE)
  9. Nepal - Ageing Nepal
  10. Philippines - Coalition of Services of the Elderly, Inc. (COSE)
  11. Russia - Regional Public Foundation Assistance for the Elderly "Dobroe Delo"
  12. Spain - Spanish Confederation of Older People's Organizations (CEOMA)
  13. Uganda - Reach One Touch One Ministries (ROTOM)
  14. United Kingdom - Age International
  15. United Kingdom - Older Women's Network, Europe
  16. Vietnam - Vietnam Association of the Elderly (VAE)
  17. Zambia - Senior Citizens Association of Zambia

Civil Society Organizations

  1. Global - HelpAge International
  2. Germany - BAGSO - Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Seniorenorganisationen
  3. India - Gramin Vikas Vigyan Samiti (GRAVIS)
  4. Kyrgyzstan - Public Association "Resource Center for Elderly" (RCE)
  5. Poland - Alzheimer Polska
  6. Poland - "AT OUR HOME" Association
  7. Poland - Fundacja Activus
  8. Poland - Fundacja Nowe Centrum
  9. Poland - Fundacja Ukryte Skrzydła
  10. Poland – Podlascy Seniorzy
  11. Poland - "Pro Salute" Association
  12. Poland - Shipyard Foundation
  13. Poland - Siedleckie Stowarzyszenie Pomocy Osobom z Chorobą Alzheimera
  14. Poland - Stowarzyszenie Pomocy Iskierka
  15. Poland – Stowarzyszenie Uniwersytet III wieku w Łazach
  16. Poland - The Union of Polish Metropolises
  17. United Kingdom - National Pensioners Convention
  18. United Kingdom - NAWO - National Alliance of Women's Organisations
  19. United Kingdom - Older People's Commissioner for Wales
  20. United States of America - Human Rights Watch