Amnesty International launches new campaign to protect human rights in older age

Amnesty International has launched Age Loud! Demand a world where human rights last a lifetime, a new campaign calling on all of us to listen to the voices of older people and ensure respect for their fundamental rights.

As a global human rights movement, Amnesty International is dedicated to ensuring that human rights are enjoyed by everyone. But during our investigations around the world, we’ve often found that as people grow older, their rights are disregarded and their dignity undermined. For too long, older people have been seen not as rights-holders, but as the subjects of the charity or medical sectors.

That’s why Amnesty International is embracing the cause of older people’s rights. Age Loud! aims to change attitudes and inspire people of all ages to demand an end to age-related discrimination, neglect and abuse.

Collaborating with Amnesty International’s national offices and a diverse range of activists, allies and organizations around the world, our campaign will amplify the voices of older people and aim to rewrite the narrative around ageing.

Laura Mills, Amnesty International’s Researcher on Age and Disability, said: “Our new campaign defies the notion of ageing in silence and asserts that growing older does not diminish our rights. We are advocating for an older age where people are empowered to speak up for their rights, and where governments are compelled to listen and to act.”

To date, there is no dedicated international treaty protecting the rights of older people. However, United Nations member states recently adopted a momentous decision identifying gaps in the protection of the human rights of older people by recommending, among other measures, a new international convention.

“Older people often experience ageism and age discrimination, fuelled by negative stereotypes that they are somehow less valuable, weak or dependent on others. As a consequence, we have found that their rights are often less protected in many areas of daily life, leaving them at greater risk of violence, poverty, and neglect,” said Laura Mills.

“The recent decision at the UN is the start of a journey to finally ensure that older people’s rights are adequately protected, but now member states must take concrete steps to ensure that drafting of a convention can begin. This is an issue that will one day affect all of us, and if we want to grow older with rights ourselves, we must do everything in our power to ensure better protection for older people today.”

For more information, please visit our page about our work on older people’s rights.

Read also Amnesty International’s interviews with three older activists reflecting on their experiences, the changes they are campaigning for, and how being an older person gives them unique perspective and motivation in the global fight for human rights.

Support activists fighting for the protection of human rights in older age