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The project on older people rights was introduced in Seoul during ASEM Conference on global ageing

29 October 2015

Seulas ValentinaviciusThe Communications Lead of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office Mr Vytauras Valentinavičius at the invitation of the National Human Rights Commissioner of Korea on 26-28 October 2015 participated in ASEM Conference on Global Ageing and Human Rights of Older Persons and Long-term Care.

Mr Valentinavičius introduced the project on The Human Rights of Older Persons, and Long-term Care carried out by European Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ENNHRI) in partnership with the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office and other European countries. The goal of the project is to improve the human rights protection of older persons in long-term care, with particular emphasis on residential care.

The participants of the conference included ASEM members, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), representatives from international organisations including the UN, academic experts, and international NGOs have discussed acute problems global ageing and the role of NHRIs in the promotion and protection of the rights of older people.

As a result of global ageing and the growing number of older persons, more attention has to be paid to the needs and rights of the elderly. It was agreed unanimously that national policies need to be comprehensive and coordinated to adequately promote and protect the rights and well-being of older persons. All speakers of the conference confirmed their commitment to the promotion of human rights of the elderly.

One of the recurring themes of the conference was the need for a new binding international human rights mechanism on the rights of older persons. The importance of the work done by NHRIs to promote the rights of the elderly was recognised in multiple presentations and following discussions, especially by NHRIs themselves, NGOs and UN representatives. As governments usually respect NHRIs and often have more influence than NGOs, they can ensure that the voices of vulnerable groups are being heard in policy discussions both nationally and at the international level.Seulas Vytautas Valentinavicius

The NHRI special session focused on the role of NHRIs and the ICC in the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons. Regional networks and NHRIs gave an overview of their work in the field, and UN representatives briefed the participants on international mechanisms and recent developments at the UN. It was agreed that NHRIs could play a significant role in the promotion and protection of older persons’ rights and that NHRIs should intensify their cooperation in this field.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation which brings together the 28 European Union member states, two other European countries, and the European Union with 21 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between our two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership

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