Representative of the Commissioner for Human Rights at the 13th Session of UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA)
Representative of the Commissioner for Human Rights of Poland, Ms. Anna Chabiera, delivered a joint statement on behalf of the Commissioner for Human Rights of Poland and a group of +25 national human rights institutions (further referred as NHRIs) from Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Georgia, Guatemala, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Ukraine. during first day of 13th Session of UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) in New York (April 3-6). Attached below. NHRIs called on Member States to join the group of engaged Member States who already support a new Convention. NHRIs expressed that on the way forward NHRIs, NGOs and older persons themselves should be actively and meaningfully included in the informal consultations foreseen in the draft decision of the OEWGA, underlying the need for a meaningful participation which allows adequate time and space for dialogue, and through which their inputs will not just be listened to but also and taken into account.
During the debate also ENNHRI Statement has been delivered by representative of Georgian Public Defender. In this statement additionally NHRIs not only supported the convention on the rights of older persons but also ENNHRI welcomes the OHCHR report resulting from this meeting (A/HRC/52/49) and the role it envisages for NHRIs, alongside other actors such as civil society. Among other conclusions, the report calls for a strengthened role for NHRIs in the protection and promotion of the human rights of older persons. Specifically, the report calls for NHRIs to be among the designated bodies to promote, protect and monitor implementation of the new convention, and for states to equip NHRIs to enhance the protection of the rights of older person at the local, regional and national levels.
Similar expectations has been indicated in GANHRI Working Group on Ageing and Human Rights of Older Persons delivered by representative of Korean National Human Rights Commission, in which additionally underlined the works on a draft of a new convention commenced by Korean NHRI.
UPDATE: OEWGA has made a decision that there will be an official document identifying gaps in international law in the field of protection of the rights of the elderly created.
Decision taken at the 13th Session of the OEWGA.
On the last day of this year's 13th Session of the United Nations Working Group on Aging (April 3-6, 2023), a decision was adopted based on consensus, that there will be an official document identifying gaps in international law in the field of protection of the rights of the elderly created. This is a key step in the debate on the need for a new Convention on the Rights of Older People.
The National Human Rights Institutions - this role is performed by the Ombudsman in Poland - present at this Session - from El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, the Philippines, Korea, Germany, Guatemala and Poland welcomed this decision, underlining it in the joint stance, pointing out the need to fully participate in the initiated process not only of the elderly themselves, but also of NGOs and national human rights institutions.