NHRIs’ Critical Role in Advancing the Rights of Older Persons

On February 17, 2022, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI), together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Special Procedures, held an online global consultation for NHRIs to discuss their engagement opportunities in the promotion and protection of older persons’ human rights.

NHRIs play a critical role in advancing the rights of older persons, including by presenting credible and relevant information about the situation on the ground to international and regional fora, and by promoting implementation on the ground of international norms and standards.

The plans of the 12th Session of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWGA) taking place from 11 to 14 April 2022 were also discussed during the meeting. The consultation provided a unique opportunity to GANHRI members to learn more about the OEWGA’s work and discuss opportunities for engagement of NHRIs in its work, both individually and collectively.

The opening remarks saw the participation of the high-level speakersIlze Brands Kehris, Assistant-Secretary-General for Human Rights, OHCHR and H.E. María del Carmen Squeff, Ambassador of Argentina to the UN New York and Chair of UN OEWGA.

Claudia Mahler, Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons, shared information on why NHRIs’ Engagement Matters and called on all NHRIs to actively participate in the upcoming OEWGA session and at HRC Sessions.

The second panel of the event and discussion were moderated by Tamar Gvaramadze, First Deputy Public Defender of Georgia. In this part of the meeting, representatives of the Philippines, Nigeria and Poland shared their institutions’ best practices of involvement and advocacy at international, regional and national levels.

More than 60 representatives of NHRIs participated in the global consultation. The Georgian Public Defender's Office was actively involved in its organization as a member of the GANHRI Working Group on Aging. Representatives of national human rights institutions participating in the global consultation expressed their willingness to contribute to the work of the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Aging by take an active part in it.

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