Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law Submits Reports on Rights of Older Persons to UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and ABA


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2011Claudia Martin and Diego Rodríguez Pinzón, professorial lecturers-in-residence and co-directors of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, and Vladislav Michalčík, research scholar-in-residence, have joined the Gender, Human Rights and Culture Branch of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in submitting a compilation of research findings on the rights of older persons to the UN Office of High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR). Additionally, the Academy cooperated with the ABA Commission on Law and Aging on a report on the rights of older persons and the possible role of conventions to strengthen the normative frameworks at the UN and OAS.

The objective of the joint report to the OHCHR was to provide input for the upcoming report by the UN Secretary General on the implementation of Resolution 65/182 on the status of the rights of older persons in all regions. The report includes examples of good practices of legislation, policies, and programs issued by states to protect, promote, and fulfill the rights of older persons at national levels in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Arab countries, Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The report covers age discrimination, elder abuse, health and long-term care, and empowerment of older women and underscores the need for comprehensive protection mechanisms including justice systems as well as national human rights institutions to ensure that violations of the rights of older persons are reported and remedied. Additionally, the report outlines how the economic, social, and cultural rights of older persons, which guarantee that they live in dignity, rely upon effective policies that foster the empowerment of older persons in civil society organizations and community services, as well as their participation in planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them

The findings resulted from a research project implemented through the partnership agreement between UNFPA and the Academy established in 2009-10. The objective was to develop a handbook with a comparative analysis of the global and regional human rights systems regarding the rights of older persons, as well as examples of good practices at national levels.

The second report, developed in cooperation with the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, gives an overview of the normative status of the current systems that protect the rights of older persons at the UN and OAS and describes the possible functions and objectives of a future binding instrument.  The report includes background information related to the resolution proposed by the Commission to the ABA House of Delegates to adopt a policy position that would support ongoing and future efforts towards strengthening the protections of the rights of older person, including consideration of an international and regional human rights instrument.


The Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law promotes practical approaches to human rights and humanitarian law while strengthening links between human rights organizations, practitioners, and educators worldwide. The Academy enhances the culture and prominence of human rights and humanitarian law around the world by offering relevant, empowering training for scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the international human rights system and laws. The Academy accomplishes these tasks through its programs, partnerships, and scholarly endeavors.