CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ TOWARDS A NEW CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTON OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS persons might indeed be a valuable supplement to the family of universal human rights treaties. The paper consists of three sections. The first section discusses to what extent rights of older persons can be conceptualized as a special category of human rights. It shows that the concept of older persons is a social construction and that its definition and content is quite context-specific and, hence, dynamic and unstable. Despite that the section argues that the way in which the global process of ageing is typically presented turns older persons, defined as those above 60, into a vulnerable group in need of a special human rights protection. The second section reveals that current human rights law fails to grant such protection. Although older persons are subject to human rights treaties as any other individuals and, moreover, they are also subject to several soft law and, on the regional level, hard law instruments that focus specifically on their human rights, this regulation is rather incomplete and has various flaws. Bearing this in mind, the third section makes a case for the adoption of a new convention for the protection of the human rights of older persons. Are Older Persons a Vulnerable Group in Need of Special Human Rights Protection? Human rights law applies to all human beings. From that perspective, speaking about human rights of older persons as a special category of human rights might seem a contradictio in adjecto. Yet older persons would not be the first group to be granted special human rights protection under current international law. Several other groups have already been recognized as particularly vulnerable and have had their group- specific rights codified in international treaties (women, children, refugees, stateless persons, migrant workers, and disabled persons) or in soft law instruments (indigenous people, and human rights defenders). Yet other groups (national minorities, HIV/ AIDS victims, and LGBT people) have been declared particularly vulnerable and, consequently, in need of special human rights protection, by judicial bodies. In this typology, older persons would fall somewhere in between the second and the third category, as we will see in Section II. The concept of vulnerability has never been used in a precise and unambiguous way. In fact, as Peroni and Timmer demonstrate, international human rights law is premised on the existence of three different forms of vulnerability that might complement but also contradict each other. 4 First, we have universal vulnerability, i.e. vulnerability of all human beings. The whole system of human rights law is based on the idea that individuals, regardless of their age, physical strength or social status, are inherently vulnerable. That means that they are susceptible to suffer harm which 4 PERONI, Lourdes, TIMMER, Alexandra, Vulnerable groups: The promise of an emerging concept in European Human Rights Convention law, International Journal of Constitutional Law, Vol. 11 No. 4, 2013, pp. 1056-1085.