C.20 - Quality of life and full participation of older people

C.20 - Quality of life and full participation of older people
Design policies at the national, federal and local levels to guarantee quality of life, the development of potential and the full participation of older persons, taking account of the need for intellectual, emotional and physical interaction and the different situation of men and women, with emphasis on the groups that are most susceptible to discrimination, such as older persons with disabilities, those without economic resources or pension coverage, or those who live alone or lack a support network.
Priority measure number


This measure is related to priority measure 18: “Formulate policies with a gender perspective to ensure a good quality of life in old age, not only for urban dwellers, but also for those who live in rural and forest areas.

Possible lines of action

1. Prepare 5-year or 10-year plans for defining intervention priorities and action strategies on behalf of older persons. 2. Prepare and apply programmes and deliver services for fostering the independence of older persons in rural and forest areas, including persons with disabilities. 3. Strengthen the administrative powers and capabilities and the inter-agency links of public agencies serving older persons. 4. Guarantee the effective provision of the budgets and resources needed to pursue actions that should be undertaken on behalf of older persons. 5. Strengthen the technical capacity of government personnel through training and upgrading of personnel and facilitate the sustainability and retention of specialized human resources. 6. Conduct periodic assessments of government-implemented programmes, projects and services targeting older persons. 7. Guarantee participation by older persons in institutional consultation and accountability processes at all levels. 8. Ensure that older persons, in particular older women, are included and represented in planning for rural and urban development. 9. Promote the ratification of the Inter-American Convention on protecting the human rights of older persons, if it has not already been ratified.

Related instruments, forums and mechanisms

Political Declaration of the Second World Assembly on Ageing, article 8 (cited under priority measure 19).

The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing incorporates specific recommendations for the development of policies related to employment, migrants, gender equality, education, poverty reduction, health, disabilities and care. It also includes recommendations on the institutional structure in its section on implementation measures.

The mainstreaming of the gender perspective in policies pertaining to older persons is addressed in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), (United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, page 13), which entered into force on 3 September 1981; the Proclamation on Ageing, adopted by General Assembly resolution 47/5, of 16 October 1992; General Assembly resolution 57/117, “The situation of older women in society”, of 18 December 2002; as well as the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the Political Declaration adopted at the Second World Assembly on Ageing (Madrid, 8-12 April 2002).

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women also addresses the topic in its decision 26/III on ending discrimination against older women through the Convention (A/57/38, part I), of 5 July 2002, and general recommendation No. 27 on older women and protection of their human rights (CEDAW/C/GC/27), of 16 December 2010.

In the ECLAC sphere, the Regional Strategy for the Implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (2003) contains a particular reference to the development of policies and programmes in all the priority areas. In section V “Implementation and follow-up of the regional strategy” it establishes, as the first objective, “Incorporation of the issue of ageing into all spheres of public policy in order to adjust State actions to reflect demographic changes and the aim of building a society for all ages”, and sets forth six specific recommendations for action in this regard.

The 2012 San José Charter on the rights of older persons Latin America and the Caribbean also contains a specific section on this topic, stressing the creation and strengthening of institutions responsible for older persons at the national level (see [online] http://www.cepal.org/publicaciones/xml/2/50162/SanJosecharter.pdf).

C. Ageing and social protection