Human Rights Council: the Right to Health of Older Persons
16 September 2011 -- Geneva, Switzerland
On 16 September 2011, WHO participated in a panel discussion on the thematic study on the realization of the right to health of older persons, in the framework of the 18th session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva.
The thematic study "urges a paradigm shift according to which society should move beyond a simple search for healthy ageing by its citizens and begin working towards active and dignified ageing, which is planned and supported just like any other stage of the individual's life-course. Active and dignified ageing for older persons requires reframing society's concept of ageing to put more focus on the continued participation of older persons in social, economic, cultural and civic life, as well as their continuous contributions to society." The study concludes "that the promotion and protection of human rights of older persons should be a concern to everyone because ageing is a process that will apply to all."
WHO's panelist emphasized the right to participate to extend healthy life expectancy and quality of life for all people as they age, based on WHO's Active Ageing Framework. The word “active” thereby refers to continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs, not just the ability to be physically active or to participate in the labour force. The intervention concluded that "we need to shift the paradigm from responding to the needs of older persons to realizing the rights of older persons".