CYIL Vol. 7, 2016

CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ TOWARDS A NEW CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTON OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS to old-age benefits assessed in light of Article 3 (insufficiency of old-age pensions to maintain adequate standard of living resulting in inhuman and degrading treatment) 63 and Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (reduction of old-age pensions as an interference with the right to property). 64 The only special instrument focused on older persons that has been adopted within the Council of Europe is the 2004 Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers on the promotion of human rights of older persons , which, however, is non-binding in nature. 65 Although we started the regional overview in Europe, it would be more appropriate to place the Americas at the top. It is so not only, and not so much, because there are provisions relating to older persons in human rights instruments adopted within the Organization of American States (Article 17 of the 1988 Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights , entitled Protection of the Elderly) and the Andean Community (Articles 46 and 47 of the 2002 Andean Charter for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights , section on Rights of Older Adults). The main reason is that on 15 June 2015, the very first international instrument relating specifically and exclusively to older persons, the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons was adopted in Washington. The purpose of the Convention is “to promote, protect and ensure the recognition and the full enjoyment and exercise, on an equal basis, of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of older persons, in order to contribute to their full inclusion, integration, and participation in society” [Article 1(1)]. An older person is defined as a “person aged 60 or older, except where legislation has determined a minimum age that is lesser or greater, provided that it is not over 65 years” (Article 2). The Convention relies on a set of general principles set in Article 3 which encompass inter alia the recognition of older persons and their role in the society, the dignity of older persons, equality and non-discrimination, security in all its different meanings, self-fulfilment or solidarity. These principles are concretized in quite a lengthy catalogue of human rights of older persons, which includes both civil and political and economic, social and cultural rights. States undertake to respect and promote these rights through a series of negative and positive measures and to raise awareness about them in society. The Convention establishes a new Committee of Experts, which should consider periodic reports by States. It also opens the way for individual petitions to the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. So far the Convention has not entered into force, awaiting two ratifications. At the time of 63 See, for instance, ECtHR, Larioshina v. Russia, Application No. 56869/00, 23 April 2002 (application declared manifestly ill-founded); and Budina v. Russia, Application No. 45603/05, 18 June 2009 (application declared manifestly ill-founded). 64 See, for instance, ECtHR, Da Conceição Mateus and Santos Januário v. Portugal, Applications No. 62235/12 and 57725/12, 8 October 2012 (applications declared manifestly ill-founded). 65 Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)2 to member states on the promotion of human rights of older persons , 19 February 2014.


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