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The National Human Rights Commission of Korea(NHRCK) organized a regular meeting of the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions’(GANHRI) Working Group on Ageing on November 22. On the following day, the NHRCK, together with the European Union(EU) and the Asia-Pacific Forum of National Human Rights Institutions(APF), co-hosted the International Human Rights Conference on Drafting of a UN Convention of the Rights of Older Persons.
The NHRCK is the Chair of the GANHRI Working Group on Ageing, presented the draft convention prepared by its own task force to the Working Group Session to gather opinions of NHRIs, UN agencies and civil society groups. The Working Group activities planned for the next year were also discussed at the meeting.
The international conference on the next day brought together diverse stakeholders, including UN agencies, advocacy groups for the rights of older persons, academia, civil society and NHRIs, to further the discussions on the key elements of the convention.
Ms. Claudia Mahler, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, in her keynote speech identified the barriers to the realization of older persons’s rights and called for a human rights-based approach to improve the protection of these rights, with a particular focus on a dedicated international instrument on the rights of older persons.
Each session was organized around the main elements of the draft convention proposed by the NHRCK. The first session addressed the contents of the draft convention as well as the work related to older persons’ rights by U.N. human rights mechanisms and regional networks. The second session dealt with a life with dignity for older persons based on their independence and autonomy. The themes of the third and fourth sessions were social security and social participation of older persons and care for them, respectively.
The conference featured renowned experts in older persons’ rights and international human rights system including Hye-soo Shin, member of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Susan B. Sommers, President of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
The NHRCK is expected to revise the draft convention based on the views presented by experts over the two days and submit the modified proposal to the GANHRI Annual Conference in March 2023 and later to the regular session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, with a view to establishing the foundation for a UN convention on the rights of older persons.