CYIL Vol. 7, 2016

CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ TOWARDS A NEW CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTON OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS society and have a say in the formulation and implementation of policies affecting their lives. Care encompasses access to health care and social services. Under self-fulfilment, the Principles understand the ability of older persons to pursue opportunities for the full development of their potential. Finally, dignity relates to the ability to live life without abuse, exploitation or discrimination. The second resolution, adopted in October 1992, has in its annex a Proclamation on Ageing . 51 It is a set of recommendations, addressed to individual States and to the international community as a whole. The two UN General Assembly documents are both non- binding in nature and drafted in quite general and vague terms. The UN is not the only universal international organization which has dealt with the protection of older persons. At least two other organizations – the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) – have paid attention to this area for quite some time as well. The ILO was in fact the very first organization to issue a special document, albeit a non-binding one, on older persons – the 1980 Recommendation No. 162 Concerning Older Workers. 52 The document aims at eliminating discrimination against older persons both during employment and with respect to retirement. Some other ILO instruments refer to older persons as well. 53 The WHO is primarily interested in the health aspects of the ageing process. It has published various documents on ageing, including the 2015 World Report on Ageing and Health, 54 and publications for the general public. It is one of the organizations which, together with some NGOs, actively seek to fight stereotypes against older persons and to draw attention to the positive sides of ageing. 55 In addition to universal instruments, there are those adopted at the regional level. The references to older persons and/or (old) age may be found in binding treaties or soft law adopted within virtually all regional human rights systems, though the context in which they appear and their content diverge. In Europe, the only instrument to contain a general provision on the rights of older persons or, more exactly, the rights of the elderly, is the 2000 EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. In its Article 25, inserted in Chapter III on Equality, the EU Charter confirms that the Union “recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life”. The provision seems all-encompassing in scope. Yet, as the explanatory comments specify, it was inspired by Article 23 of the Revised European 51 UN Doc. A(RES/47/5, Proclamation on Ageing, 16 October 1992 (the resolution was adopted without a vote). 52 ILO, R162 – OlderWorkers Recommendation (No. 162), 23 June 1980. 53 See, for instance, the 1958 Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation (age is one of the prohibited discriminatory grounds) or the 1967 Convention No. 128 on Invalidity, Old-Age and Survivors’ Benefits Convention (containing Part III on Old-Age Benefits). 54 WHO, World Report on Ageing and Health, WHO : Luxembourg, 2015. 55 See, for instance, WHO, Fact file: Misconceptions on ageing and health, online at ageing/ features/misconceptions/en/ (retrieved on 4 July 2016).


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