International Conference on the Rights of Older Persons and the Role of Ombudsman and Mediator Institutions
October 1 is the International Day of Older Persons. Every year, the United Nations marks this day with different themes. The theme for the International Day of Older Persons this year is "Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World". On September 27, 2022, the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia, together with the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen (AOM), hosted an international conference on the above issues and protection of the rights of older persons.
The theme of the international conference was "The Rights of Older Persons and the Role of Ombudsman and Mediator Institutions". The mission of the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsmen is to promote and protect fundamental rights in the Mediterranean countries. This cooperation helps to standardize the practices of different ombudsman and mediator institutions and to strengthen relations and cooperation between its members.
The ombudsmen and representatives of human rights institutions invited to the conference shared their experiences, best practices and initiatives relating to the protection of the rights of older persons at the national, regional and international levels.
Nino Lomjaria noted in her speech that the protection and promotion of the rights of older persons is one of the important areas of activity of the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia. She drew attention to the gaps in the system of protection of the rights of older persons at the national, international and regional levels.
"Today's conference is a demonstration of this activity, and I believe that similar events are important in terms of strengthening the mechanisms of protecting the rights of older persons and raising awareness of their rights," the Public Defender noted.
She also spoke about the UN General Assembly’s Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG), which has been working to create an international framework for the human rights of older persons since 2010. The Public Defender’s Office of Georgia actively participates in the working group every year and submits relevant reports on the rights situation of older persons in the country.
The Public Defender expressed special thanks to the Association of Mediterranean Ombudsman for supporting the conference.
At the opening of the conference, the Chairman of the Human Rights and Civil Integration Committee of the Parliament of Georgia, Mikheil Sarjveladze, spoke about the close cooperation with the Public Defender’s Office in terms of protection of the rights of older persons.
The conference participants listened to the video statements by Dr. Andreas Potakis,Ombudsman of Greece and President of the AssociationofMediterranean Ombudsmen, and Mr. Chris Field, Ombudsman of Western Australia and President of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI).
Two main issues were discussed at the conference: 1. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on older persons and the activities of ombudsmen/mediators and 2. Human rights of older persons in the digital world - challenges and opportunities. Discussions at the thematic sessions were led by Tamar Gvaramadze, First Deputy Public Defender of Georgia.