This measure is related to priority measure 27: “Include older persons as a priority focus of public policy and as fundamental stakeholders in the formulation and implementation of policies aiming to improve the quality of life of older persons.
Possible lines of action
1. Include older persons in consultation processes at all levels of decision-making. 2. Ensure that older persons can participate with voice and vote in the advisory boards of the institutions responsible for matters relating to ageing. 3. Encourage older persons to see themselves as capable of influencing election outcomes. 4. Work to ensure that the growing influence of older persons in election processes is not perceived in a negative manner by other groups within society. 5. See that older women have the opportunity to participate in public and political life, to hold public office, and to obtain the information to present themselves as candidates for election. 6. In cases where these do not already exist, encourage the establishment of older persons’ organizations at all levels. 7. Provide financial and technical support to older persons’ organizations to assist in their operations and self-management. 8. Create an environment that facilitates participation by older persons in volunteer activities.
Related instruments, forums and mechanisms
The United Nations Principles for Older Persons include participation, and declare that older persons should “participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their well-being and share their knowledge and skills with younger generations” and that “they should be able to form movements or associations of older persons” (United Nations, resolution 46/91 on Implementation of the International Plan of Action on Ageing and related activities, of 16 December 1991).
The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing sets forth, in its priority direction 1 on “Older persons and development”, the objective of recognizing the social, cultural, economic and political contribution of older persons. It makes recommendations such as: to offer opportunities, programmes and support to encourage older persons to participate or continue to participate in cultural, economic, political and social life and lifelong learning; and to provide information and access to facilitate the participation of older persons in mutual self-help, intergenerational community groups and opportunities for realizing their full potential. Its objective on the participation of older persons in decision-making processes at all levels includes recommendations to: take into account the needs and concerns of older persons in decision-making at all levels; encourage, when they do not already exist, the establishment of organizations of older persons at all levels to, inter alia, represent older persons in decision-making; and take measures to enable the full and equal participation of older persons, in particular older women, in decision-making at all levels.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in its general recommendation No. 27 on older women and protection of their human rights, declared that “States parties have an obligation to ensure that older women have the opportunity to participate in public and political life and hold public office at all levels and that older women have the necessary documentation to register to vote and run as candidates for election” (CEDAW/C/2010/47/GC.1).
Article 4 of the Inter-American Convention on protecting the human rights of older persons, which refers to “ General Duties of States Parties”, provides that States shall “adopt and strengthen such legislative, administrative, judicial, budgetary, and other measures as may be necessary to give effect to and raise awareness of the rights recognized in the present Convention, including adequate access to justice, in order to ensure differentiated and preferential treatment for older persons in all areas.”