On this 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations International Day for Older Persons (UNIDOP) celebrates the importance of this Declaration, and reaffirms the commitment to promoting the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons.
Growing older does not diminish a person’s inherent dignity and fundamental rights.
Almost 40 years following the adoption of UDHR, issues of human rights for older persons were taken up in 1991 in the formulation of the United Nations Principles for Older Persons, which provided guidance in the areas of independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment and dignity.
A decade later, the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA), adopted in 2002, represented the first time Governments agreed to link questions of ageing to other frameworks for social and economic development and human rights. The interdependence between older persons’ social integration and the full enjoyment of their human rights cannot be ignored, as the degree to which older persons are socially integrated will directly affect their dignity and quality of life.
The 2018 theme of UNIDOP is “Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions“. What better way to celebrate this Day than by celebrating the older people around the world who dedicate their lives to championing human rights?
Older human rights champions today were born around the time of the adoption of the UDHR in 1948. They are as diverse as the society in which they live: from older people advocating for human rights at the grass root and community level to high profile figures on the international stage. Each and every one demands equal respect and acknowledgement for their dedication and commitment to contributing to a world free from fear and free from want.
The 2018 theme aims to:
- Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what it means in the daily lives of older persons;
- Raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately;
- Reflect on progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons; and
- Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights at all stages of life.