Commissioner urges international MPs to strengthen protections for world’s seniors

The Age Discrimination Commissioner, Susan Ryan, has told the Parliamentary Friends of Seniors and Ageing that she believes there needs to be more protection of older people around the world. Reporting on her recent presentation at the UN’s Open Ended Working Group on Older People, Commissioner Ryan told MP’s at parliament House in Canberra that she has been convinced by the case put forward by those UN member States calling for the drafting of a new convention.

“This is an international issue – it goes to Australia’s position as a good international citizen,” Commissioner Ryan said.

“While, here in Australia, older people have considerable legal and other protections, this is not the case in Africa, the Asia Pacific and South America, where older people without economic or legal protection are vulnerable to violence and neglect,” Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said now that Australia had secured a seat on the Security Council, our voice at the UN would be more influential.

“If Australia were to take an official position in support of an international Convention on the Rights of Older people, other currently uncommitted Members may decide to follow our example,” she said.

The Parliamentary Friends of Ageing is a bipartisan group of federal MPs set up to address the challenges of Australia’s ageing population.

Source: Australian Human Rights Commission