Historical background of the establishment of the mandate
- In 2009, the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee submitted a working paper to the Human Rights Council on “The necessity of a human rights approach and effective United Nations mechanism for the human rights of the older person”. The paper highlights the importance of conducting a full study on discrimination in the context of the human rights of older persons with consideration of the establishment of an international convention on the human rights of older persons.
- In December 2010, in accordance with its resolution 65/182, the General Assembly established an Open-ended Working Group on Ageing for the purpose of strengthening the human rights protection of older persons. This is the first-ever international forum with such a focus. Its mandate is to consider the existing international framework, its gaps and ways to address those, including, as appropriate, the consideration of further instruments and measures.
- In 2011, OHCHR contributed to the report of the Secretary-General submitted to the General Assembly on “Follow-up to Second World Assembly on Ageing”. A questionnaire was sent to Member States and stakeholders soliciting observations and information on existing legislation, policies and programmes related to various human rights issues concerning older persons. The report contains an overview of some of the challenges faced by older persons in the enjoyment of their rights, and outlines examples of government responses to those challenges including through an illustrative collection of legislation, policies and programmes.
- In 2012, in her annual report to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the High Commissioner for Human Rights focused on the human rights of older persons. The report provides an overview of existing international instruments and the gaps in the international protection regime. It recommended, inter alia, the creation of a new special procedures mandate holder.
- In April 2013, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 21/23, OHCHR organized a public consultation on the promotion and protection of the human rights of older persons, in order to receive information and share good practice on the matter. A summary report was prepared thereon and submitted to the Human Rights Council at its 24th session in September 2013. The conclusion reached at the consultation was that, “while most international human rights instruments are applicable to all age groups, including older persons, a number of human rights issues that are particularly relevant to older persons have not been given sufficient attention either in the wording of existing human rights instruments or in the practice of human rights bodies and mechanisms.”
- On 27 September 2013, the Human Rights Council adopted resolution 24/20 without a vote, thereby establishing the mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.
- In April 2014, in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 24/25, the Social Forum was organized focusing on “the rights of older persons, including best practices in this regard.ˮ
- On 2 June 2014, the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons assumed her functions.
In this section
Issues in Focus
Ms. Claudia Mahler
Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons
OHCHR-UNOG CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: +41 22 917 9006