Older people in Kenya Thursday joined their colleagues around the world in marking this year’s International Day of Older Persons (1st October), as they celebrate ageing and draw attention to the issues they face.
During the celebrations held in Nairobi, older activists and campaigners sheltered under umbrellas to symbolize the protection of their rights as they demand to be included in the implementation of sustainable development Goals, SDGs.
The actions are part of HelpAge International’s Age Demands Action campaign calling for the UN and its member states to work towards adopting a convention on the rights of older people.
“The Age Demands Action campaign highlights the energy and dedication of older activists,” said Toby Porter, Chief Executive Officer at HelpAge International.
According to HelpAge International, older people suffer widespread discrimination and are frequently let down by governments failing to safeguard their rights.
“It enables them to stand up and be counted and let the world know that they won’t be silenced. For too long, older people have been left out of the development agenda. They are subjected to ageism, discrimination and denial of their rights. Existing human rights frameworks simply aren’t addressing the challenges that they face. We cannot shirk from our responsibilities to older generations,” he added.
The actions follow the successes of older activists in the action/2015 campaign, who called for people of all ages to be included in the Sustainable Development Goals. The goals adopted last week (25th – 27th September) at the UN, commit 193 world leaders to ending extreme poverty, combatting inequality and injustice and fighting climate change over the next 15 years.
According Not only does the Sustainable Development agenda pledge to leave no one behind, but older age or older people are referenced in 15 of the 17 global goals and their targets, with key phrases including ‘all ages’, ‘older persons’ and ‘lifelong’.
HelpAge International will be working with governments to ensure they are included and consulted throughout the implementation of the goals.