CYIL Vol. 7, 2016

VERONIKA BÍLKOVÁ CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ older persons. It then gives a list of provisions of the Covenant which are of particular relevance for older persons (equal rights of men and women, rights relating to work, right to social security, protection of the family, right to an adequate standard of living, right to physical and mental health and right to education and culture). The latter document focuses specifically on the protection of the human rights of older women. It identifies several areas of concern (violence against older women, lack of access to health care services and pension systems, etc.) and makes relevant recommendations. The regulation as we can see is quite scattered and does not deal with the legal status of older persons in any systematic way. It also fails to take into account the various aspects of the global process of ageing. The realisation that this process had been taking place led the UN to start considering what its implications might be for States and for older persons themselves. Since the 1980s, two World Assemblies on Ageing have been convened by the UN General Assembly – one in 1982 in Madrid, the other in 2002 in Vienna. Both resulted in the adoption of plans of actions, 46 which define certain general principles and make recommendations for States. Although the documents are primarily linked to the development agenda, they contain many references to human rights. In fact, “the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all older persons” 47 is declared as one of the central themes of the Madrid Plan of Action. Such full realization is considered to be “essential for the creation of an inclusive society for all ages in which older persons participate fully and without discrimination and on the basis of equality” . 48 The absence of an internationally recognized catalogue of human rights that are of special relevance to older persons may, however, make the achievement of this goal complicated. The two plans of actions were both endorsed by the UN General Assembly. 49 In 1991–1992 moreover, the Assembly issued two important resolutions following- up on the Vienna Plan of Action. The first resolution, adopted in December 1991, contained in its annex the United Nations Principles for Older Persons. 50 Introduced by a nice moto “To add life to the years that have been added to life”, the document identifies five principles that should serve as a basis for programmes in this area – independence, participation, care, self-fulfilment, and dignity. Independence relates to the possibility of older persons to live according to their preferences and make their own choices. Participation means that older people should stay integrated in 46 See UN, Vienna International Plan of Action on Aging, New York: United Nations, 1983; and Madrid International Plan of Action of Ageing , New York: United Nations, 2002. 47 Madrid International Plan of Action, supra note 46, par. 12(a). 48 Ibid., par. 13. 49 See UN Doc. A/RES/37/51, Question of aging, 3 December 1982; A/RES/57/167, Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, 16 January 2003. 50 UN Doc. A/RES/46/91 , Implementation of the International Plan of Action on Ageing and related activities, 16 December 1991 (the resolution was adopted witout vote).


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