Friday, July 6, 2012

Global AgeWatch: Displacement, pensions, rights

Older people face huge challenges when displaced. (c) Gina Bramucci/HelpAge International
The neglected generation
Older people form a significant proportion of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugee groups, yet little attention is given to their inclusion in humanitarian response, says a new report by HelpAge International and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.
The report points to increasing numbers of IDPs as a result of conflict and natural disasters. Older people – a growing demographic group – face specific challenges when displaced. But they are often unprotected throughout the displacement cycle.
“Older people deserve to live with dignity and are entitled to the same rights as younger generations,” says Jo Wells, HelpAge Humanitarian Policy Manager. This report calls on humanitarian actors to address the issue of growing numbers of displaced older people now.

By 2050, there will 480 million older people in China. (c) Wang Jing/ HelpAge International
Older people at Rio+20
At the close of the Rio+20 conference, 20-22 June, governments renewed their commitment to sustainable development. The outcome documentrecognised the engagement of many marginalised groups, including older people, was required to achieve this commitment.
However, demographic ageing was a missing focus in Rio+20 discussions. Increasing numbers of older people are affected by the challenges to sustainable development – but they also contribute to sustainability, points out a HelpAge discussion paper.
These issues need to be urgently acknowledged in the sustainable development agenda, if we are to ensure a sustainable future for all, recommends aHelpAge policy brief.

Older people demanded their rights on the streets of Bolivia. (c) HelpAge International
Spotlight on elder abuse
Abuse, neglect and violence against older people around the world is much more prevalent than currently acknowledged, says amessage from the UN Secretary-General, on the first UN World Elder Abuse Awareness Dayon 15 June 2012.
A new report, Elderly Abuse in India, revealed that many older people in India face abuse in their own homes from family members and that most abuse is not reported.
Violence and abuse against older people was also emphasised in the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' report to the UN Economic and Social Council that meets in July. It called for measures to protect older people’s rights without further delay. The possibility of new human rights measures, such as a convention, will be discussed at the Open Ended Working Group on Ageing in August.
Sign the HelpAge petition for a convention on the rights of older people.

Social protection for all
A new international labour standard calling for countries to establish national and social protection floors as soon as possible, was adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as it concluded its 101st session in June.
This development is “a breakthrough in global social policy,” according to Michael Cichon, Director of the ILO Social Security Department. The social protection floor has gained widespread support as a framework to protect and empower people throughout their lives.
The new recommendation aims to provide essential healthcare and basic income security to “all in need”. It specifies that social security should benefit those in informal and formal employment, and support disadvantaged groups.
More on social protection at

Shades of Gray: A Cross-Country Study of Health and Well-Being of the Older Populations in SAGE Countries
Useful resources
Shades of gray: A cross-country study of health and well-being of the older populations in SAGE countries, 2007–2010. This new report by the U.S. Census Bureau finds that hypertension and arthritis are the two most common chronic conditions in six of the world’s most populous countries. The U.S. Census Bureau provides demographic data in its International Data Basewebsite.
Ageing solidarity and social protection: time for progress toward equality. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean’s report points to a need to address older people in the region not covered by social security systems because they are in informal employment.
Tackling NCDs to Enhance Sustainable Development. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are linked to economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection, explains this policy brief by the NCD Alliance. It recommends that NCD prevention and control must be integrated into sustainable development policies and programmes.
Knowledge Translation on Ageing and Health. Published by the World Bank, this document reviews current frameworks in knowledge translation on ageing and health. It provides guidance to decision and policy makers on integrating evidence-based approaches to ageing in national health policy development.

New from HelpAge
[Protecting older people in emergencies: Good practice guide. Key challenges and the most effective responses to protect older people's rights during conflict or natural disasters. Available in Spanish and French.
Elder abuse in Kyrgyzstan: Summary of the elder abuse survey. Findings from this survey carried out across six provinces reveals that elder abuse exists. It recommends raising public awareness and developing mechanisms to mitigate and prevent elder abuse. Available in Russian.
Ageing in Africa 37. This issue focuses on the developments of the Hunger Safety Net Project in Kenya, and highlights activities and successes from the Age Demands Action campaign in October 2011 in Africa.


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