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Human Rights and the Elderly: An International Perspective 

Human Rights and the Elderly: An International Perspective
Human Rights and the Elderly: An International Perspective

Robert Kohn

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date: 19 May 2019

Attention to the human rights of the elderly has gained increased international attention. This chapter provides an overview of some international agencies’ efforts to address human rights of elders, as well as related efforts in different regions of the world. The UN does not have a specific treaty or convention regarding human rights of the elderly; only in 1995 was comprehensive legal analysis of the rights of the elderly addressed. The 2002 Madrid International Action Plan on Aging was a non-legally binding declaration by participating governments. Article 14 addresses equal access to healthcare and services, including physical and mental health services. The Commission on Human Rights 2011 Special Rapporteur emphasized human rights issues in primary healthcare and chronic illness; long-term care; palliative care; and informed consent as related to older persons. The Alzheimer’s Disease International Kyoto Declaration provides countries with a framework of action to address the needs and quality of life of those with dementia and their caregivers. Similarly, the United States has developed a national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease.

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