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Human Rights Council 39: Interactive dialogue on the rights of older persons

This UK statement was delivered at the 39th session of the Human Rights Council during the interactive dialogue with the independent expert on the rights of older persons.

Human rights

The Human Rights Council takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

The United Kingdom thanks the Independent Expert on the rights of older persons and the Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation for their work and would like to address our remarks to Ms Kornfeld-Matte.

The UK remains fully committed to the human rights of all persons, including older persons. We are cognisant of the serious issues older persons face and will continue to engage in this important debate. The Independent Expert’s report reflects the complex and intersecting nature of the causes of social exclusion for older persons, linking to the rights to work and health; to independent living and decision-making; and to the impact of policy-making on older persons.

As we said at the Working Group session in New York, the UK considers that States should promote equality in older age, which is the full participation and inclusion of older persons in all aspects of society based on equal respect for the dignity of older persons. We consider that States should have due regard to the differential impact of their decisions, in particular age-based policies, on older persons.

By way of example, in the context of decision making and participation all local authorities in the UK have an obligation to promote wellbeing when carrying out their care and support functions in respect of an individual’s personal dignity, including treatment of the individual with respect; control by the individual over day-to-day life; and participation in work, education, training or recreation.

In the context of social protection, we have reformed our pension system to give people greater clarity on what they can expect from the state and to provide a clearer foundation for private saving.

Mr Vice President,

We would like to ask the Independent Expert how she believes we can help older people to better prepare for later life.

Thank you Mr Vice President.

Published 10 September 2018