Peak Body for Older Australians Urges Support for UN Convention
28 July 2011 at 12:26 pm
The peak body for older Australians, COTA is calling on the Federal Government to support the adoption of a United Nations Convention on the Rights of Older People.
COTA Chief Executive Ian Yates says the Convention will be discussed during next week’s session in New York of the “Open-Ended Working Group on ageing with the purpose of strengthening the protection of the human rights of older persons”, established by the UN General Assembly on 21 December 2010.
Yates says that UN Conventions are already in place dealing with discrimination against women, the rights of people with disabilities, refugees and children and a similar Convention to promote and protect the rights of older people is overdue.
He says that unfortunately ageism and discrimination against older people is widespread, around the world, often unrecognized, and resulting in them being treated as second class citizens.
He says in Australia many older people experience discrimination in the workplace, in finding employment, in access to health services, in the quality of health and aged care, in the provision of public transport, in access to services like insurance, and many more areas.
COTA will be represented at the meeting of the Open Ended Working Group by Sue Hendy, Chief Executive of COTA Victoria and one of COTA’s international ambassadors.
Sue Hendy represents COTA on the Board of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) which is coordinating the non -government Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People.
Hendy says support for the UN Convention will change the conversation in Australia with policy makers and the community at large.
She says older Australians don’t question what happens to them and there needs to be a change in attitude around issues affecting them.
COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing Councils on the Ageing in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.