This is the theme of the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) which fall on Tuesday 01 October. The IDOP was celebrated for the first time throughout the world in 1991 by virtue of UN General Assembly resolution in 1990.
In 1991 the UN General Assembly adopted the United Principles for Older Persons. In 2002 the second World Assembly on Ageing adopted the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages. (Source: UN papers)
Since its inception in 2011 DIS-MOI has been carrying multifold approach actions at grass root level, institutional level and regional level. We have been publishing and continue to publish advocacy articles in the media, intervened on the TV and on the radios, outreached the associations of women, of the elderly, members of social organisations and of parishes. We have written to Government ministries, National Human Rights Commission, and sister organisations. Since we have outreached citizens of the Comoros, Madagascar, Seychelles on top of Rodrigues and Agalega.
Besides sensitizing our audience in human rights in general, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, existing conventions on the rights of older persons (Madrid), in the Americas, we have gone deeply in the necessity for a new Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. Initially we have referred to rights that we take for granted but which have to be enshrined permanently in the context of a new UN instrument, a Convention for the rights of Older People.
SDG 10: Reduce Inequality
The theme of this year is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal 10 and will focus on pathways of coping with existing and preventing future old age inequalities. Remember the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
SDG 10 sets to reduce inequality within and among countries and aims to, inter alia, ensure equal opportunity including through measures to eliminate discrimination and to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, These measures should include 'the care sector as a contributor of decent work, life-long learning and proactive and adaptive labour policies, universal health coverage and social protective measures. The journey towards age equality reminds us that people of all ages need to be able to fully participate as equal members of society, they should know that they have to be treated with dignity and respect and have their basic rights protected'. Simply older people as rights holders should have equal access to health care, employment (indeed), goods and services, information, education (the principle of life-long learning), decent housing and an enabling environment.
Our IDOP activities 2019
DIS-MOI and Mouvement Forces Vives of Rose-Belle and surrounding organisations have coalesced to put up a series of activities under IDOP 2019 in the locality of Rose-Belle with a national dimension in the first week of October. These include a public conference at which older persons will be invited to express themselves on their welfare, their needs, treatment meted to them, we shall be hearing from their own mouths.
An interactive session will be held at the Brahma Kumari Lighthouse Center in Rose-Belle with older persons and youths which can throw light on intergenerational dialogue.
A public march with the participation of older persons, young people, students and representatives of youths, older peoples’ associations, women’s associations amongst others.
The UN was well inspired and intentioned to dedicate a day for older people. But this day is a day of all, for all and by all. In an ageing society like ours it is imperative that each strata of our population gets to have a shared understanding of the IDOP philosophy.
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