Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons Approved by the OAS

America is the first region in the world to have such instrument

In the framework of the 45º General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), the member states approved the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons, which was immediately signed by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay at OAS headquarters in Washington DC.

It is an historical achievement that presents America as the first region in the world to have such a convention. The leading idea is to inspire other international organization, in particular the UN to follow the same path promoting the rights of the Older Persons on a global scale.

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. The starting point of the Convention is the recognition that all existing human rights and fundamental freedoms apply to older people, and that they should fully enjoy them on an equal basis with other segments of the population.

Organization of American States

"This is a very important step for everyone. Our slogan of 'More rights for more people' is fully in the logic of the Convention, which reaffirms the hemispheric dimension of our work, in this case the commitment to ensure the full enjoyment of the rights of older people, taking into account their needs and specific requirements," said Secretary General Luis Almagro during the signing of the document, which urges States to adopt "legislative or other measures" that are necessary to give effect to the rights and freedoms of older adults, including awareness campaigns.

At present, people aged 60 or older in the Americas represent 14 percent of the hemisphere's population (over 135 million). By 2030, nearly two in five people will be 60 or older, and in total there will be more than 215 million older people in the Americas. The Convention will strengthen the legal obligations to respect, promote and ensure the human rights of older persons. Its ratification will carry the obligation of States parties to adopt measures to guarantee a differentiated and preferential treatment to older persons in all spheres.

The next step for the Convention to enter into force is the ratification of at least two signatory countries